Baby… It’s Cold Outside but Cozy Inside Pt. 2. The Beef Stew Edition

stew-in-bowl

 

Beef stew is always welcome in my home. Especially when it’s cold out. Flavorful, hearty and thick! We like thick gravies, soups and stews here. So here is how it was made….

Beef Stew:

3 lbs stew meat cut into bite size cubes

small amount vegetable oil to brown meat

salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 cup tomato puree

1/3 cup flour

48 oz container beef broth

2 onions cut into 8 wedges each

3 carrots sliced into bite size pieces (about an inch)

3 stalks celery sliced into bite size pieces (about an inch)

(1) 1 1/2 pound bag creamer potatoes (these are little potatoes. I have found them lately at my grocery store and they are so tiny and easy to work with. Just wash and throw in. They are about the size of a half dollar so they are already the perfect size. You can use 5 or 6 of your favorite regular sized potatoes as well)

2 bay leaf

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon dried parsley

few dashes worcestershire sauce

 

Heat up a 6 qt dutch oven. You want to make sure your pan is nice and hot. When the meat hits the pan you want it to brown up quickly. The sides of your pan will start to get brown as well. You may think that you are burning it but don’t worry. This is where a lot of flavor will come from once you add your broth. All those little bits of brown will turn into an amazing depth of flavor.

Add your meat to your pan, adding salt and pepper each time. I did it in 3 stages. You do this to keep the meat from cooling off the pan too much. If that happens, rather then a nice searing and browning, the meat will release it moisture into the pan and then you end up just boiling your meat in its own juices.

After each group of meat is browned well removed it with a spoon and place on paper towels.

Once the meat has finished, drain any remaining oil from the pan and place back on heat. Add the onion to the pan and brown it slightly.

Add tomato paste to  pan with onion and cook for a minute or two just to add depth to the tomato flavor. (your pan will still be brown and that’s a good thing)

Next add the tomato puree. This will start to loosen up some of those yummy brown bits on your pan because of the liquid of the puree.

Now add your meat back to the pan and stir. Then sprinkle the flour on the top and mix to coat well.

Add the beef broth stirring constantly.

Once all the broth has been added stir and add the bay leaves, thyme and parsley. Bring to a boil then turn heat down. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Checking and stirring occasionally. Remember that you have flour in there so it is going to thicken up. It’s important to stir well making sure that you have nothing sticking to the bottom.

Now that you have let the stew simmer your meat will be tender. It’s time to add the celery, carrots, potatoes and worcestershire.

Let cook longer covered until the vegetables are tender.

Serve with biscuits, noodles, rice or whatever you like.

Enjoy!

D 

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