ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Food and Cooking»
  • Main Dish & Side Dish Recipes

English Beef Stew - Simple Recipe

Updated on June 29, 2015
Dressage Husband profile image

Having a childhood cyst overdosed with Penicillin made Stephen hyper allergic. From this he developed a keen interest in eating for health.

Quickly Vanishing Finished Stew
Quickly Vanishing Finished Stew | Source

Why Beef Stew?

Because it is delicious and really not that difficult to make, although done properly it does take quite a while to cook!

Just the other day I was reading an article that was lamenting the lack of a good recipe for Old Fashioned English Stew like the lady made whom I remembered from growing up. I just happen to have a really simple (in my opinion) recipe for English Beef Stew that is both simple to make and delicious. so that is the basis on which this Hub is being written.

There is a secret to making good stews and that is to cook them really slow, and to use good beef. So many people destroy the value of stew by using poor quality stewing beef from a poor butcher. If you are going for excellent results always start with excellent raw materials!

Picture taken on the second day (about 2/3 the stew has been eaten) copyright Stephen J Parkin

Ingredients For The English Stew

Some Of The Ingredients
Some Of The Ingredients | Source

Traditional English Stew

The traditional English Beef stew contains only beef, onions and carrots plus seasonings. I like to add the potatoes to the casserole so that they are oven baked slowly along with the meat and carrots and thereby flavoured by the rich beef gravy the carrot and onion juices too. They will also help to make the gravy thicker due to their natural starch.

Time Needed To Prepare

  • Prep time: 20 min
  • Cook time: 3 hours
  • Ready in: 3 hours 20 min
  • Yields: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 to 2 lbs of Lean Stewing Beef (Cut into approximately 1 inch cubes)
  • 4 Medium to Large Onions (quartered by cutting lengthways)
  • 12 oz Carrots (Cut into large chunks)
  • 4 Medium Potatoes (Cut into 6 to 8 chunks)
  • 2 tbsps Plain Flour
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • Sea Salt (To Taste)
  • Assorted Peppercorns Ground (To Taste)
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 1 Beef Slock Cube (I use Knorr) - Enough for 1 pt of stock
  • 1 pt water
  • 2 tbsps Olive Oil (Extra Virgin Cold Pressed is Best)

Instructions

  1. If you have a flame proof 3 quart casserole you can do all of this in that, if not you will need a large frying pan and a 3 quart casserole dish.
  2. Preheat your oven to 325F.
  3. If you have been following along all your ingredients are to hand and already prepared. Well done! If not do all your chopping now. Put your casserole or fry pan on a high heat and add the Olive Oil.
  4. Sautee the beef until it is brown on all sides, you may have to do this in batches. Remove from the pan and reserve on a large plate for later use. Use a slotted spoon and try to reserve all the juice in the casserole or pan.
  5. Next add the onions and carrots and fry on a medium heat until they are lightly browned all over. Remove from the pan/casserole and reserve for future use, leave all gravy juice and oil in the pan.
  6. Boil a kettle whilst things are cooking and mix up the stock in a large measuring jug.
  7. Carefully add the flour to the pan and keep stirring to make a pale brown paste, if there is not enough fluid carefully add a small amount of the stock.just enough to make a stiff paste. Let it cook for a minute (do not burn it!).
  8. Pour your stock in slowly stirring all the time and cook until the gravy is smooth (not too thick). Add the Tomato Puree and stir in.
  9. If you are using a fry pan carefully add back the meat and vegetables (carrots and potatoes) and stir to mix add Ground Salt and Pepper to taste. then add the bay leaves to your casserole dish and pour the stew on top.
  10. If using a flameproof casserole just add back the meat and vegetables and bay leaves Grind Salt and Pepper to taste.
  11. Place the lid on the casserole and place in the oven set your timer for 2.5 hours.
  12. Relax with a nice glass of red wine, you could add some to the stew (but that would no longer be English but French! LOL)
  13. I like to use Spanish Onions where available, but any fairly strong onion will work quite well. The flavour is in the meat jus so keeping everything together so as not to lose any is the secret of success. That and using good quality beef lean but with some slight marbling with fat.

Nutritional Values Of English Stew

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 portion
Calories 293
Calories from Fat90
% Daily Value *
Fat 10 g15%
Saturated fat 1 g5%
Unsaturated fat 3 g
Carbohydrates 20 g7%
Sugar 3 g
Fiber 2 g8%
Protein 34 g68%
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 271 mg11%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

More Nutritional Data For English Stew

Ingredient
Amount
Daily %
Potassium
373.6mg
 
Vitamin B-6
 
5.2%
Vitamin C
 
23.3%
Calcium
 
1.2%
Copper
 
2.3%
Folate
 
3.1%
Iron
 
3.1%
Magnesium
 
3.3%
Niacin
 
4.2%
Riboflavin
 
1.0%
Thiamin
 
4.2%
Zinc
 
1.0%
5 stars from 1 rating of The Beef Stew Recipe

Great Stew Needs A Great Pot

Stew is cooked slowly so that all the flavors blend together in the pot. It is traditional to use a pot that holds the heat and that will slowly permeate that heat through the ingredients. Emile Henry make some really great stoneware casserole pots that are fantastic for stew.

My Personal Favourite Casserole Spotlight

Emile Henry Flame Top 4.2-Quart Round Oven, Red
Emile Henry Flame Top 4.2-Quart Round Oven, Red

This is one of my favourite brands for cooking and I just love the red of this dish.

 

Do You Love A Hearty Stew?

See results

Dutch Ovens Make Great Stew Pots!

Another option to stoneware is enameled Dutch ovens which are designed for the stove top and the oven. Like these.

Get The Casserole You Will Need From Amazon

Lodge L8DD3 Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven, 5-Quart
Lodge L8DD3 Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven, 5-Quart

This is a large Dutch Oven which will easily accommodate this stew, you would be able to increase quantities for a larger family and/or guests.

 

Red Enameled Dutch Oven

In case you hadn't noticed already I really like red cookware! These red enamel Dutch ovens are a great pot for cooking your stew in.

Lodge EC6D43 Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, 6-Quart, Island Spice Red
Lodge EC6D43 Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, 6-Quart, Island Spice Red

I personally prefer the red Dutch Oven and think it has a nicer style too.

 

Get A Set Of Casseroles & Always Have The Right Size

If you buy a whole set of casseroles you can double up the recipe and freeze some for later. It would also be possible to cook two different casseroles at the same time.

Lorren Home 3-Piece Stove Top to Oven Black Casserrole set with Covers
Lorren Home 3-Piece Stove Top to Oven Black Casserrole set with Covers

This is a three piece set an ideal wedding gift perhaps and also for splitting up a recipe so that you can make separate batches for subsequent days

 

Get The Casserole Set In Red

In case you still have not noticed I really, really like red cookware!

Lorren Home 3-Piece Stove Top to Oven Red Casserrole set with Covers
Lorren Home 3-Piece Stove Top to Oven Red Casserrole set with Covers

Again I prefer the red to the black, but it is all a matter of personal choice.

 

You Will Need The Right Utensils To Serve The Stew

The following modules are the necessary utensils to serve this stew and do it justice.

Why Slotted Spoons?

When checking the stew to see if the vegetables are properly cooked and to sample the seasoning you will need a slotted spoon to retrieve the pieces from the gravy.

And For Dishing Up The Stew

The ladle is the best tool to use for dishing up soups and stews.

Preparation Implements

In order to peel the potatoes and carrots one of these is really useful.

Or You May Like Color

These peelers come in attractive colors to add spice to any kitchen.

Place For Comments On How Much You Enjoyed The Stew

Submit a Comment

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 2 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    It is tasty and easy to make! Enjoy it.

  • peachpurple profile image

    peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

    this is easy, i must try for our dinner but i have to buy beef and carrot for now, voted up

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 3 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @Rhonda Lytle: Exactly and like many foods they always taste better the second day!

  • Rhonda Lytle profile image

    Rhonda Lytle 3 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

    This sounds like a good stew recipe. I like stews a lot because they freeze well allowing me to have meals quickly on nights I just don't have the time to cook.

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @Corrinna-Johnson: Thank you I forgot to mention or add the dumpling possibility.

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @DebMartin: It is easy and always tasty!

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @Ben Reed: I think we all do especially on those cold winter days!

  • Corrinna-Johnson profile image

    Corrinna Johnson 4 years ago from BC, Canada

    Yum! Sounds delicious! I like to enjoy a hearty beef stew and dumplings during the cold winter months.

  • profile image

    DebMartin 4 years ago

    Sounds perfect!...ly easy. Love it.

  • Ben Reed profile image

    Ben Reed 4 years ago from Redcar

    I adore a good stew...

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @Jogalog: That would definitely add a touch of extra flavour and is a good spice to add.

  • Jogalog profile image

    Jogalog 4 years ago

    I love beef stew. I also like to add dried thyme to mine but otherwise it's very similar.

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @john1581: Glad you appreciate it enjoy the stew!

  • youndyd lm profile image

    youndyd lm 4 years ago

    I love beef stew a lot even though I know that beef is not good for my heart. Thanks, for the recipee, will try it out soon.

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @youndyd lm: I am not sure that it is the beef of itself that is not good for the heart. The problem appears to be the quality of the meat. Make sure you use lean beef with just a little fat marbling it and not one of the fatty cuts. If you have a heart problem already maybe it is better to stick to fish high in omega oils and white meat like chicken? (Please consult your doctor first) I do not want you to make yourself ill!

  • profile image

    john1581 4 years ago

    Great recipe .Printed it

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @anonymous: This one is really good and we eat it a lot in the colder months.

  • profile image

    anonymous 4 years ago

    Looks so nice, I need to make a stew soon before summer comes. Don't half enjoy a stew!

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @ShariBerry: Thank you. I think I like chilli when it is really cold LOL

  • ShariBerry profile image

    Sharon Berry 4 years ago from Michigan

    The perfect cold weather food. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @Scraps2treasures: I hope you enjoy it we sure do!

  • Scraps2treasures profile image

    Scraps2treasures 4 years ago

    Looks good! I am printing the recipe so I can add it to my meal plan next week. Blessed by a Squid Angel :)

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @ItayaLightbourne: You will just have to get out your casserole and get working then!

  • ItayaLightbourne profile image

    Itaya Lightbourne 4 years ago from Topeka, KS

    Makes my mouth water just reading about this! :)

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @anonymous: Try it sometime and let me know what you think.

  • Golfman7 profile image

    Golfman7 4 years ago

    I was brought up on home made stews so I know a good one when I see it.

  • profile image

    anonymous 4 years ago

    Looks yummy, something my mom used to make. Thanx for the memories

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @Golfman7: Thank you, I think!

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @anonymous: Thank you!

  • profile image

    anonymous 4 years ago

    Looks like a meal fit for the King. - God Bless! :)

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @greendrop lm: I hope you give it a try!

  • greendrop lm profile image

    greendrop lm 4 years ago

    Nice and easy. Thanks

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @flycatcherrr: Thank you for your kind comments. Maybe we can persuade someone to buy us one each?

  • flycatcherrr profile image

    flycatcherrr 4 years ago

    This is exactly how my British grandfather - a butcher - taught me that stew should be made! Absolutely, starting with first-rate beef is key. Well done, Stephen. I like that red casserole dish, too. :)

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @sockii: I think you will enjoy it! Let me know.

  • sockii profile image

    Nicole Pellegrini 4 years ago from New Jersey

    That looks perfectly yummy and easy to make! I will definitely be trying it for myself.

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @Elsie Hagley: I think it is the traditional stew, you will find jut about everywhere it is served.

  • Elsie Hagley profile image

    Elsie Hagley 4 years ago from New Zealand

    That's a good English beef stew, just like my mother taught me, and she was a english lady. Thanks for sharing. Blessed.

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @pumpum: You will have to reserve recipe lens reading until after you had lunch!

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @Judith Nazarewicz: Yes, it is amazing how the taste develops the longer it is kept. Usually best on second or third day, if you can keep any that long!.

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @choosehappy: Glad it had the right effect!

  • pumpum profile image

    pumpum 4 years ago

    I think I am starving :)) Yummy!

  • Judith Nazarewicz profile image

    Judith Nazarewicz 4 years ago from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

    Beef stew always brings back memories of growing up for me. My mom used to always have a pot of stew with homemade buns for us to eat and it was even better the second day. Your recipe looks so good. I will have to try it!

  • choosehappy profile image

    Vikki 4 years ago from US

    Yum; now I am hungry! ;)

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @Redneck Lady Luck: You might have because I was eating it about the time you commented!

  • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

    Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

    I can almost smell your stew cooking.