How to Cook Beef Stew
Beef Stew: Warming Food for a Cold Winter Day
If you are a busy mum or dad you need dinner recipes that are inexpensive and that you can put together easily, but you don't want to spend your entire evening in the kitchen. How much better it would be if you could sort out dinner and let it cook while you get on doing other things. At times like these I opt to put together a delicious soup or stew for my family. A few minutes prep time in the kitchen, then it can be left to cook slowly on the hob or in the oven until we are ready to eat.
When the weather starts turning colder, it's time to think about cooking hearty soups and stews. These dishes are simple, and delicious, and a very good way to use up those vegetables lurking in the bottom of the fridge.
My personal favourite is a delicious vegetable beef stew. Follow along as I show you just how simple beef stew can be to make.
Serve the stew in a shallow bowl with thick slices of buttered crusty bread, or boiled potatoes.
- Prep time: 30 min
- Cook time: 2 hours
- Ready in: 2 hours 30 min
- Yields: 4 - 6 generous servings
- 2 heaped spoonfuls flour
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 pound stewing steak, cut into cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 glass red wine, optional
- 1 - 2 liters beef stock
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 or 3 different root vegetables, peeled and chopped
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1 sprig rosemary, or 1 tsp dried
- 1 sprig thyme, or 1 tsp dried
- generous dash Worcestershire sauce
- salt and pepper, to taste
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- Add the flour to a plastic bag and season with salt and pepper. Toss in the cubed beef, a handful at a time to coat with flour.
- Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed stew pot. Add the beef and cook until browned on all sides.
- Pour in 1 glass red wine (optional) and scrape the bottom of the pan to get up all the bits which have stuck. If not using wine, use a half cup of beef stock instead.
- Pour in 1- 2 litre beef stock, enough to cover the added vegetables.
- Add the chopped onion, carrots, parsnips, swede, or any other desired vegetable.
- Add 1 large or 2 small bay leaves, 1 sprig fresh rosemary, 1 sprig fresh thyme, and a good dash of Worcestershire sauce, and season with salt and pepper.
- Bring up to a boil, reduce heat and cover, and simmer on a very slow boil (1 - 2 bubbles breaking the surface at a time) for at least an hour. The longer you can give it, the better.
- Alternatively, bring it up to a boil, cover and place in an oven at a very low heat for 1 - 2 hours.
300 More Stew Recipes - from around the world
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A Few Vegetable Ideas For Your Beef Stew
The wonderful thing about a stew is that there is no end to the list of vegetables you can add. I like to take advantage of the multitude of squashes and root vegetables available this time of year. I suggest picking out 2 or 3 vegetables to use in any one dish.
The basis of nearly any food dish. Check out How To Chop an Onion for information on how to chop an onion quickly and easily.
I actually prefer to boil up a pot of potatoes to serve alongside the stew instead of cooking them in the stew.
Save time by adding a large handful of frozen sweetcorn to the stew.
Squash will add a good flavour to your stew plus helps to thicken it.
Sweet chestnuts go very well with strong flavoured meats like beef and venison.
Peel and chop the swede and add it in.
Peel and chop it exactly like a carrot. These taste best after the first hard frost in Autumn.
A stew wouldn't be complete without carrots.
Much maligned, but delicious in a stew with the other flavours.
Rinse off the stalks, cut it up, and add it in, leaves and stalks together.
Halve or quarter these before adding them in
Beef Stew Cooks Up Very Nicely in a Slow Cooker - just make these alterations to the recipe
Cut the amount of beef stock down to 1/2 litre.
Brown the meat off in a heavy-bottomed pan, add the wine or a small amount of stock to deglaze the pan. Then pour the lot into a slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients, cover with the lid, and cook on low for several hours.
A few minutes time in the morning before work, and when you get home you'll have a meal ready to set on the table.