There is nothing better on a chilly day than the perfect soup simmering on the stove, the aromas flowing throughout the house, making your mouth water in anticipation. Beef stew is an excellent choice on those days, with savory and tender beef and vegetables for a well-rounded and easy meal.
What type of beef should I use?
When it comes to purchasing beef, especially for stews, you want to make sure you grab something that will stand up to the long braising process of making beef stew. For this, we recommend chuck. The chuck is a cut of meat that requires a little love and care to yield a tender result. It’s perfect for slow braising dishes like beef stew.
Chuck beef comes from the area around the shoulder, neck, and upper arm. Its full of flavor and includes some fat, which makes a great comfort food when paired with stew ingredients.
You can always buy some of Farmer Matt’s homemade beef stew, but if you’d like to make your own, here’s a fast and easy preparation.
Before you begin cooking, I always recommend that you get your ingredients in order and ready to go.
Ingredients (in the order you will use them):
- 2lbs of Farmer Matt’s stew beef
- 2 cups flour
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 1 large sweet onion, rough diced
- 3 cups carrot, chopped in half-inch chunks
- 3 cups celery, chopped in half-inch chunks
- 2 cups parsnips, chopped in half-inch chunks (this is optional)
- 6-8 cloves of garlic (more or less depending on personal preference)
- 10 cups of Farmer Matt’s beef stock
- 4 tbs Worcestershire sauce
- 8-10 sprigs of Thyme (I like to tie these in a little bundle for easy removal later)
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 1lb of baby red potatoes (about 1 inch, cut larger ones so they’re all the same size)
Step 1: Prepare the beef.
- Pat the meat dry with a paper towel. This is a critical step prior to browning or searing.
- Season your beef with salt and pepper. I recommend using Kosher salt and fresh-cracked pepper.
- Lightly coat the beef in flour. This will help with browning and thickening your broth later.
- Brown the beef on all sides on a high heat. You’re not fully cooking it here, just getting a nice maillard crust on it. This enhances the flavor.
Step 2: Sauté your veggies. Lightly sautéing the vegetables prior to their long braise can help heighten the flavor.
- Remove the beef from the pot and reduce heat to medium.
- Add onion and let that cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
- Then add carrot and celery. Stir constantly for about 5 minutes before adding the chopped garlic. Cook for another minute with the garlic in the pot. Do not add your potatoes or parsnips here.
- Remove vegetables from the pot.
Step 3: Braise.
- Add tomato paste to the bottom of the pot and let it cook for about 30 seconds, frequently stirring.
- Deglaze the pot with a cup of beef stock.
- Return your beef to the pot along with enough beef stock to just cover your beef. Add your Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and bay leaves. It’s OK to add a little more salt and pepper at this point as well.
- Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce to a slow simmer. Let this braise for about 45 minutes.
- After 45 minutes, add your vegetables back to the pot and check for seasoning. If it tastes a little bland, just add more salt. If your stock has reduced too much, you can add more now.
- Let the braise continue for another 45 minutes or until all the vegetables are fork tender. We are not going for mushy vegetables here. They should retain some structure but be tender. The meat should now be fall-apart tender.
- Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaves and ENJOY!
Settle in with this hearty comfort food and enjoy every spoonful! If you are looking for an ethical way to obtain your beef, free of antibiotics and GMO’s, Farmer Matt has you covered.