Warm Beef Stew

Warm Beef StewThis is a simple and delicious dish that will warm you up on a cold day, like today.  Here in Southern Alberta, it hasn’t stopped raining for three days, and it’s a chill that gets into your bones.  So, I served this up for lunch and it hit the spot!  The best part, is this can either be cooked in 2 hours, or simmer all day in a slow cooker.

I usually tend to make enough to feed my family twice over, so if you’ve got a big family or like left overs, the portions would be accurate.

What you will need:

About 2 pounds of a roast beef or stewing beef.  I usually buy a big thing from Costco, and cut it in half.  Also, you don’t need the best cut of meat, as when it simmers, it will soak in so much juices that it should fall apart in your mouth anyways.

2 cups of peeled and chopped potatoes in 1/2″ cubes

2 cups of chopped yellow onion

2 cups of peeled and chopped carrots (if you want to cheat out here, just buy the bag of pre-peeled baby potatoes and cut them in half)

2 cups of chopped celery

1 small can of tomato paste

1 TBS of flour

2 cups of beef broth or prepared Bouillon (Note: This will determine the taste of the cream in the end.  Beef broth will give off a water-type base, whereas Bouillon, OXO or beef stock added to water will give off more of a thicker/gravy taste.  Find which taste you prefer, and go with that one)

2 TBS of Worchestershire Sauce

1 tsp of soy sauce

1/4-1/2 cup of Dry red wine (this is optional, but do not add this until mid-end)

2 TBS of Thyme

2 Bay Leaves

Salt and Pepper

1/2 tsp of Crushed red pepper

2 chopped garlic cloves

Now, first things first.  I Have NEVER read a recipe and did it twice where I did not choose to change something.  Either I find I need more pepper, or I want a bit more heat, etc.  So, when I do these recipes, by all means, taste, taste, TASTE.  Do not serve your dish until you like it.  When I slow cook, I always find that a bit of the spices, etc has not come to full taste and I will add a bit more, mix and it’s PERFECT!  Most experienced cooks know this, but for those that are just learning to cook at home, that one tip will lead you to success.

Warm Beef Stew Warm Beef Stew

Here we go.  If you don’t have much time, chop up your beef into 1″ cubes, making sure to get rid of the fat off of it.  Here’s a tip for stews, Cut your beef WITH the grain (the fine lines you see running down the beef), otherwise it will shrink it quickly and act a bit tougher, it wont soak up the juices nicely.  So, cut the beef, coat them with the flour, and cook them in a pan with oil.  Once they’re all browned on each side, put the remainder of the ingredients in a pot and boil on Med-High until the sauce is all cooked up, you may need an extra cup of water to add in a bit at a time to create the best consistency of soup base.
If you do have time – SLOW COOKER!!!! I love the slow cooker.  I either prepare it in the morning for dinner, or at night to cook overnight for our lunches the next day.  Basically, add in everything into your slow cooker, uncooked (including the flour).  Do not worry about the lack of juice in the slow cooker.  Once those vegetables and beef cook, they will release some of their juices and replace them with a bit of the final juice and you will get much more.  If you are nervous about the wine, don’t add it right away.  Wait until about 30 minutes until you’re ready to serve and start…. TASTING.  Find what you need.   Wine, bit more Thyme, pepper, etc.  Serve with a slice of bread and butter, and maybe a glass of the open bottle of red wine 😉 and enjoy the remainder of the evening 🙂

Thanks everyone, and if you like my posts, don’t forget to recommend them to your friends 🙂

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