This Classic Beef Stew is the perfect dish for chilly nights or whenever you’re in the mood for a hearty dish. Classic Beef Stew is filled with beef, potatoes, carrots, celery, and more for the perfect cold-weather meal.
Classic Beef Stew is a staple dish in our house, especially in the cooler months of the year. This beef stew can be made by two different methods, it’s your choice: one of the best and easiest methods is to braise it slowly in the oven for about 2 hours or so. The second option is to transfer everything to a slow cooker and set it to low for about 6 hours. Either way, you’ll end up with the most flavorful, tender Classic Beef Stew you’ve ever tasted! And, it will certainly feed a hungry family or just about any crowd!
Why braising works with Beef Stew:
- Make sure you use a large soup pot or Dutch oven with a heavy bottom that has a tight-fitting lid. Cast iron is great because it is very heavy and cooks evenly.
- Choose well-marbled meat, like a chuck roast. Usually, the cheaper cuts of meat do well with braising. I usually steer clear of pre-cut “stew meat” because of the price and the fact that it is typically less marbled than the whole cuts of meat.
- Instead of using plain water, choose a broth, or bouillon and water, or wine to give your dish a nice rich flavor.
- Deglazing the pan is a very important step! After browning the meat and vegetables, when you add the 1 cup of water and “stir scraping browned bits from the bottom of the pan”, you are adding a huge amount of flavor to your dish. Make sure to do this step! The only time you would not do this is if the bits on the bottom of the pan are burned and bitter.
- Braising involves time and it’s an essential step to develop the flavor and tenderize the meat.
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Classic Beef Stew
- 3 pounds Beef chuck roast cut into bite-sized cubes
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 1 cup sliced celery
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons pepper
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 cups water
- 4 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon Roasted Beef Base
- 16 small size “C” new potatoes cut in half
- 1 small bag frozen pearl onions
- 1 pound package sliced mushrooms
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cold water
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees or set a slow cooker on low.
- Cut meat into large chunks, about 1-inch pieces and pat dry.
- Season meat with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottom soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- Add meat in small batches to brown, making sure to turn the meat periodically so that it can brown on all sides. Remove each batch of browned meat to a large bowl and set aside.
- When all meat is browned and removed to the bowl, add the onion and celery and continue browning the vegetables lightly, without scorching, about 5 minutes; remove vegetables to the bowl with the meat and set aside.
- Add garlic to the pot and saute lightly for about 1 minute, and then immediately stir in 1 cup of water.
- Turn heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping the bottom to remove browned bits from the bottom of the pan; reduce liquid by half, stirring often.
- Stir in tomato paste and continue cooking for another minute or two.
- Add remaining water and bouillon.
- Reduce heat to medium-low.
- Add everything back to the pot, including the pearl onions, potatoes, mushrooms and carrots, stir to combine.
- In a small glass or bowl, whisk together ¼ cup all-purpose flour and ½ cup cold water; stir into vegetable-meat mixture and stir to combine, remove from heat.
- If using the oven method, place a lid onto the Dutch oven or pot and place in the middle rack in the preheated oven and braise for 2 to 2 ½ hours.
- If using the slow cooker method, transfer stew mixture to the bowl of a slow cooker and cook on low for approximately 6 hours with the lid on.
- When stew is finished, stir in fresh minced thyme and adjust seasoning to taste by adding salt and pepper.
- This stew gets even better if made a day ahead and refrigerated overnight and then reheated the next day!