This is a classic in our kitchen. And when I say ‘classic,” I mean that I cook it often, but it is never the same twice. This is the best way to have a hearty, nourishing one-pot meal, while using up anything that is in the fridge. Most recently, our stew was based on sprouting garden potatoes, homegrown onions, and deformed carrots from last fall. I seasoned the stew with a few virtually empty condiment jars swished out with water. (I can’t stand a crowded fridge, or wasting anything, and the grainy mustard, salsa, and ketchup gave it great flavour). Sometimes we add a little wine, sometimes a beer to add flavour. Shake it up to suit your mood. The only critical element is to give a stew lots of time in the oven.
Here is a pretty mid-winter, Alberta stew ready to go in the oven. The best part of this meal is that you can do all the prep and then walk away!
Classic Beef Stew
- 1-2 lbs Grassfed Stewing Beef
- 1/3 cup Flour
- Salt Paprika, Pepper
- 3 Tbs Butter or Bacon Grease
- 6-8 medium Potatoes
- 6-8 Carrots
- 1 large Onion
- 8 Cloves Garlic
- any other Vegetables on hand- Beets, Brussel Sprouts, Sweet Potatoes, Celery...
- Approximately 4 Cups Grassfed Beef Stock
- And/or Vegetable Stock Red Wine, Beer
- Generous dash Worcestershire Sauce
- Fresh or Dried Herbs- Rosemary Thyme, Sage
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Start with beef fully defrosted and pat dry. In a mixing bowl sprinkle the beef with flour, seasoning, salt and pepper, toss to coat.
- On the stove-top heat the butter or grease in a large heavy casserole or dutch oven. Brown the beef over medium high heat, turning several times until brown and golden.
- While the beef is browning chop all vegetables, except garlic. I aim for a uniform size that is kid friendly, but my chopping usually gets creative thanks to the variability of garden vegetable.
- Once the beef has browned remove pot from heat, add all the vegetables including the whole cloves of garlic. Then pour in the liquids, add the herbs and seasonings. Give everything a quick stir.
- Place lid on casserole and pop it all in the oven. Walk away and enjoy the rest of your day, but maybe come back and stir it at least once, adding extra liquid if it appears dry.
- There is no magic length of time to cook a stew. The stew is done when the beef melts in your mouth and the vegetables are fork-tender and buttery. I usually cook a stew for at least 4 hours. If you wish to thicken the sauce, simply grab a fork and mash some of the potatoes.
- Serve in bowls and enjoy!