How to Make Beef Stew
By: Jack Mancuso
How to Make Beef Stew
This is one of those age-old recipes everyone should have in their cooking kit. Beef stew is a stick-to-your-ribs meal perfect for nearly any time of the year. Nonetheless, I like enjoying it on chilly days.
My recipe is intended to grow as you have a need. Suddenly have more guests coming than expected? Just double it! You can’t miss with this luscious blend of red wine marrying with beef and vegetables. A few hours and you have tender meat with a richness that lingers on your palate. If you want to make it ahead of time, by all means, do so. The flavor enhances by allowing it to sit.
The star of the show here is the beef, so you want the right cut. Get a well-marbled chuck roast. Prepackaged stew meat won’t be as satisfying. Without fat veins, you’ll eat leather. This recipe serves 3 people very well.
- 1 1/1 lb beef chuck cubes (1 ½” pieces)
- 1 tsp fresh ground salt
- 1/2 tsp large grind pepper
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- 1 ½ tbs Extra Virgin olive oil
- 1 medium white onion, chopped
- 1 heaping tbsp finely minced garlic (fresh if possible)
- 1 tbsp Moderna balsamic vinegar
- ¾ tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cups medium rose wine
- 1 cup beef bone broth
- 1 cup water
- ¾ tsp sugar
- 1 fresh basil leaf
- 2 carrots (1” chunks on the diagonal)
- 2 stalks of celery (1” pieces on the diagonal)
- ½ pound baby potatoes, halved
- Set the oven to 325F
- Place a rack in the middle position (if you have four spaces, use the lower middle)
- Using a paper towel, pat the beef dry
- Sprinkle it with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder
- Put the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until it’s hot
- Brown the meat on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. You want a light crust, so be a little patient
- Set the meat aside
- Place onions, garlic, and vinegar into the pan for five minutes, stirring constantly
- Add the tomato paste and stir again.
- Pour in the beef and its juice
- Sprinkle a little flour over top.
- When the flour dissolves ad the beef, wine, water, broth, sugar, and basil leaf
- Cover the pot and place it in your oven for two hours
- Take the pot out, adding your carrots, celery, and potatoes.
- Cover and return to the oven for another hour (the broth should be thickened and the vegetables tender)
The first evidence of something similar to stew was discovered in Japan dating to the Jomon Period, which covers a long span of time (14,000 BCE - 300 BCE). The presence isn’t overly surprising, however. The country’s population was hunter-gatherers and agrarian.
Herodotus mentioned that the Scythians (8-4 BCE+ put meat into a pouch, mixed with water, and boiled it over the fire. Apicius, a Roman culinary writer, detailed lamb and fish stews in 4 AD. Come 1814, Byron mentioned Irish Stew in the “Devil’s Drive.”
There are a wide variety of stews around the world, like Beef Bourguignon, made famous by Julia Child. Here are a few more:
- Bo Kho (Vietnam) is a savory beef stew served with rice or noodles
- Bouillabaisse (Provence) is made with fish
- Carbonade flamande (Belgian): How can you go wrong with Belgian beer as a stew foundation?
- Chilorio (Mexico): pork stew
- Cream Stew (Japan): a white stew
- Ewedu (Nigeria): vegetable stew
- Fabada asturiana (Spain): bean and meat stew
- Gheimeh (Iran): Lamb with split peas
- Gumbo (Louisiana): Creole
- Hasenpfeffer (German): Sour rabbit stew
- Ishtu (India): Mutton, potato, and coconut milk
- Kaldereta (Philippines): Goat stew
- Kokkiniaro (Greece): red meat, tomato, shallots, and cinnamon
- Oil Down (Grenada): Breadfruit, salted chicken, dumplings, spices, and coconut milk
And the list goes on and on. This doesn’t even begin to take into account family secret recipes!Sides
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