This is my favorite stew recipe, and it’s with me from the first hint of Fall until Springtime roars into place. It is the epitome of comfort food, and nothing pleases me more than a nice bowl of stew, a crisp, Mississippi evening, and a bunch of fresh crackers.
1–2 TBS canola oil
1 cup all purpose flour
2 TBS Melissa’s Garlic Blend Seasoning, divided
2 lbs sirloin or beef stew meat, trimmed and cut into 3/4” cubes
2 quarts water
1 TBS concentrated beef stock paste
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1/2 green bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 cup finely diced carrots
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 cup baby carrots
1.5 cups diced, peeled baking potatoes
1 TBS tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
2–3 bay leaves
1 cup red wine
1 tsp Hungarian Paprika
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste (I like mine peppery!)
Wondra flour, as needed.
In a large dutch oven, heat 1 TBS canola oil. In a resealable bag, add flour and 1 TBS Garlic Blend Seasoning. Add stew meat pieces, a few at a time, and shake bag to coat. After the oil is hot, add floured stew meat to pan, about 1/3 of the meat at a time. Brown each batch and remove to another plate. Add the onions, bell peppers, celery, and diced carrots. Cook until veggies are softened, then add garlic and tomato paste. Cook 2 more minutes, stirring often.
Pour in red wine to deglaze pan. Scrape up any bits stuck to the pan. Allow wine to reduce by half, then add beef, water, and beef stock back in. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for a2 hours. check the tenderness of the beef. When you think the stew has about 40 minutes left, add the carrots. When you think it has about 25 minutes left, add the potatoes.
As everything is finishing up, correct for salt and pepper. If you want a thicker stew, lightly sprinkle in Wondra flour, or wait until the potatoes are fully cooked and stir to have them thicken the stew.