I picked up a package of stew meat from Costco a while back and shared half with my daughter. Then I split my portion and froze them in 1 pound portions so I could make smaller batches of stew. Last night was the night! I debated about several different beef stews I’ve made before. Jacques Pepin has a recipe for “quick” beef stew that starts with more tender meat so doesn’t require hours of cooking. Then there’s the beef stew with coffee, which was really good. And for a more upscale version you can try Kay Scarpetta’s beef stew with red wine and artichokes, which also has some V8 juice.
I went more pedestrian and plain last night, with this recipe from Katie Lee Joel’s The Comfort Table, which I see is available for a penny used on Amazon. Well worth more than that! I don’t remember adding celery to beef stew before but this was good. Potatoes, carrots, celery and onions, along with a bit of apple cider vinegar to scrape up the browned bits, which was a new twist for me. I roughly halved her recipe but used about 3/4 of the amount of liquid because I wanted to make sure there was lots of liquid to sop up with the good bread I had. If you like it thicker, just use 2 to 2.5 cups of broth. I use something similar to this cast iron Dutch oven (on Amazon) to cook stew in.
This hit all the right spots for us. Tender meat, flavorful broth and good vegetables.
- 1 pound lean stew beef, cut in 2 inch pieces
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 2 Tablespoons oil
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 potatoes, peeled and cut in 1 inch chunks
- 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1 celery stalk, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 3 cups beef broth
- a sprinkling of fresh minced parsley optional
- Salt and pepper the meat cubes, then toss with a tablespoon of the flour, saving the rest for later.
- Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium-high heat and brown the beef on all sides, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Pour the vinegar into the pot and heat it while scraping up the browned bits.
- Add the broth and all the vegetables along with the browned beef. Bring to a very low simmer, cover. and cook about 2 hours, until the beef is tender.
- Add some of the broth to the flour and stir together until smooth. Add this back to the stew and cook another ten minutes.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, about half a teaspoon each. Sprinkle with the parsley, if using, then dish it up and serve it.