It gets really hot and muggy in Mississippi. By the time we have our 4 or 5 days of Fall weather, I am soooo ready to make beef stew. It’s my favorite thing when it gets cold outside, and I love to make it the low and slow way, and let those delicious aromas permeate the house with the wonderful smell. A box of fresh crackers, and my favorite beef stew recipe is perfection in a bowl.
Why is this “My Favorite Beef Stew Recipe”
First, it’s simple. I don’t cotton to super prep-heavy meals or multi-step process cooking dishes, especially when I’m craving comfort food. Secondly, this is comfort food at its’ best – warm, satisfying, and beefy-goodness delicious. Third, and most importantly, it builds anticipation then delivers on flavor.
My Beef Stew Tips and Tricks
Ok, beef stew isn’t a terribly hard assignment. However, there are a few tips and tricks that I use to help make sure the stew is really good. First, make it beefier than any other recipe you’ve seen. I like a strong beef flavor, and this recipe has it. Next, I don’t use “stew meat” from the grocer, I buy sirloins. the difference is the amount of waste. With stew meat, you are getting their trimmings from cutting steaks. Most of the time, you will get extra fatty pieces, or pieces with a lot of connective tissue or silverskin. I just buy a bulk pack of sirloin and trim it down to the size I want. I get less waste and, if I buy too much for one recipe, sirloin is certainly adaptable enough to make a different recipe in a day or two. Last, and probably most importantly, is the timing of the vegetables.
The Right Time to add Carrots and Potatoes
The trick to beef stew is getting the beef succulent and tender without overcooking carrots, potatoes, and other vegetables you might add. Now, in my recipe I add carrots, celery, bell peppers, and onion at the beginning, but they’re meant to cook until almost dissolved. No, I’m talking about the veggies you want to have nice tender pieces of when the stew is ready. So, my tip is this, when you can get a piece of beef with a wooden spoon, and break off a piece against the side of the dutch oven, it’s time to add the carrots. This is about 40-50 minutes before the beef is ready. When you can kind of break a piece of beef apart, but it’s not tender, then it’s time to add the potatoes. This is about stew time minus 30 minutes. Doing this, I can determine when I should generally add the veggies without having one thing or another turning to mush.
Thickening the Stew
I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it, Wondra Flour is one of the most important things I have in my pantry. I use it all the time for soups, stews, sauces, and more. It’s really amazing. I’m not paid by Wondra or anything, I just use the product all the time, and it lets me gently thicken something to my liking instead of using regular flour or a roux.
Other than that, I hope you enjoy!Print