Created by: Mary
Recipe #995 | Created on October 21, 2011
Categories: Comfort Food, Dinner, Main Dish, Soups/Stews, Beef, Fruit, Tomato, Vegetables, Celery, Carrot, Onions, North American, Southern, Cooking For A Crowd, Easy/Beginner Cooking, Entertaining, Fall/Autumn, Game/Sports Day, Potluck, Thanksgiving, Winter, Dutch Oven, Oven Bake, Stove Top (more)
Basic Beef Stew
"Every cook starts with a basic recipe and then adjusts quantities and varies ingredients to suit individual tastes. Some learn that basic recipe from family members, and some learn from cookbooks and cooking sites. This is just a basic process that I learned from a variety of sources, and it can easily be modified to make it a "family recipe" to hand down to future cooks as their heritage. "
- 2-3 pounds beef, cut in one inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon fat (vegetable oil, butter, bacon grease, rendered beef fat)
- 2-4 cups liquid (beef broth)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1-2 ribs celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- Seasonings of choice: black pepper, bay leaf, salt to taste, tomato sauce or paste)
- Vegetable of choice: potatoes, carrots, pearl or small onions, corn, tomatoes, or whatever is in season, cut in bite size pieces
What You Will Need
No special items needed.
Brown the beef over medium high heat in a small amount of oil or fat on the stove top -- in batches if necessary. You just want to brown the meat, to add a depth of flavor, so make sure there is room in the pan to keep the pieces separate. As the pieces brown, remove them to an oven proof dish or dutch oven.
Deglaze the pan with a bit of seasoned liquid (beef broth is most common and you can control the salt by using low or no sodium broth), scraping all the browned bits up to add to the stew. Add the pan juices and the remaining broth to the browned beef, and stir in your seasonings (chopped onions and celery -- sauteed or not, garlic, black pepper, etc., but wait on the salt until later.) The liquid should cover the meat, so add additional broth or water if necessary. Bring it to a shimmering simmer, cover the pan tightly,and put it in the oven.
Bake it on a medium-low oven setting (325*) for two or three hours. The time will depend on the amount of beef in the pot. About 30-45 minutes before you want to serve it, add your vegetables -- potatoes, carrots, pearl onions -- and check the broth for flavor. Add liquid if necessary. This is also the time to add salt to your taste. Continue cooking it all for 30 minutes and test the vegetables to see if they are done. If not, add more oven time in 10-15 minute intervals, testing until the vegetables are done to your taste.
The cuts of meat we favor are chuck (with visible fat pockets removed) and sirloin. Chuck has more beef flavor, but will need longer to cook and may still have some chewiness. Sirloin has less fat and may need the beef flavor enhanced with granules or crushed bouillon cubes.
Some cooks also dust the meat with seasoned flour before they brown the meat to add to the juices in a gravy like broth as the meat cooks, but you can add a slurry of flour and water or cornstarch and water after the meat is cooked and get the same or better results. Just combine the slurry ingredients, stir it into the meat juices in the pan, and cook to thicken.
Please check any reviews for variations and modifications. Some of my favorite recipes are a combination of ideas from other cooks.
- Serving Size: 1 (160.7 g)
- Calories 404.3
- Total Fat - 4.7 g
- Saturated Fat - 0.9 g
- Cholesterol - 1 mg
- Sodium - 417.4 mg
- Total Carbohydrate - 86.9 g
- Dietary Fiber - 0.3 g
- Sugars - 63 g
- Protein - 3.7 g
- Calcium - 62.3 mg
- Iron - 1.6 mg
- Vitamin C - 58.2 mg
- Thiamin - 0.1 mg