Sometimes you just need good old fashioned cooking. And that is just what we have here today with this classic Beef Stew. Serve it with some fresh bread and you're all set for dinner.
If you drop by my blog often, you'll probably notice that there aren't many beef recipes. Well, we just don't eat a lot of beef. The kids don't really like it, well apart from ground beef. And Mike, my husband, only eats it occasionally. So, I usually stay away from beef for the most part.
That being said, I really do enjoy beef. Sometimes, there is nothing better than a good steak. And any other beef, if cooked well, can be really delicious. So, when I do cook it, I look forward to it.
That wasn't always the case though. I remember my first attempt at cooking beef years ago and it tasted a bit like dried out rubber. And that's being kind. I really had no clue what I was doing. I didn't understand different cuts of meat, what you should do with them or even how long you were supposed to cook them for. I just kind of played it by ear and ended up with some pretty inedible dried up barely recognisable pieces of beef.
This went on for a little while (ummm, a long while really), and then I just gave up. Chicken had to be easier right?
Anyway, like everything in life, practice makes perfect! Or at least, makes you better at something. Maybe that's what I keep telling myself. But if you do something enough times, you are bound to figure out what you are doing. And that is kind of how the story went with me and beef. After deciding we didn't get along, I had about a 5 year break from the stuff. Then one day decided it was time to do some reading and learn the proper way. If all else fails, read the instructions or the recipe! Who knew how much you could learn from reading recipes...haha!
The first thing I learned with cooking beef, is that you have to cook it at room temperature. This just seemed silly to me. Leave meat on the counter before you cook it? I just though it would spoil and I would get sick. I was super paranoid about this step. But guess what? The experts were right! Imagine that.
If you do your own digging into cold meat vs room temperature meat, you will find all kinds of varying opinions of all sorts of experts and home cooks alike. But all I can say is that I always get better results if the meat has been out of the fridge for 1/2 hour or so. Yes there is science behind it, but I'm not very good with science so I'll save you all from me attempting to talk about something I know nothing about...haha!
All of that beef talk brings me to this stew! First and foremost, this is not my recipe. OH MY!!! I know, every now and again, I do cook other peoples stuff because it just looks so darn good! This particular recipe is Jamie Oliver's Beef Stew. Okay, I made a few changes but only because I didn't have all the correct ingredients he was using in his recipe. But I pretty much followed it to the letter. You can check out the real deal recipe here if you like. Like I said, you won't see many differences but there are a few.
And all I can say it that it is downright delicious! It is melt in you mouth tender and so full of flavour. It will make you wish it was winter all year long. I just served it with some crusty baguette bread as I though that was sufficient enough. He recommends serving it over mashed potato. I chose not to do this because I ended up adding potato to my recipe. Which, by the way, made it even better.
Great comfort food!
Notes about the stew:
Basically, follow the recipe and you are on your way to a delicious stew! It is so easy and I think almost anybody can make this, even novice cooks.
The only thing I can think about pointing out is the type of tomatoes I used. I had very ripe vine tomatoes. They worked great and were completely stewed when the dish was finished. So, try to avoid big salad tomatoes. They won't give the same end result.
Apart from that, it's pretty straight forward and pretty delicious!
Happy cooking friends and enjoy the comfort food season.
Serves 4 / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 3 1/2 - 4 hours
24 Ounces/600 grams stewing beef, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 Tablespoons flour
2 Cups/480 ml beef broth
2/3 Cup/160 ml red wine
4 Tablespoons olive oil
4 Carrots, peeled and cut into 2 cm pieces
2 Celery ribs, ends trimmed and cut into 2 cm pieces
1 Large potato, peeled and diced
4 Tomatoes, diced
1 Onion, peeled and quartered
Dried thyme sprigs
3 Bay leaves
2 Garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Set aside a casserole dish.
Dredge the beef in the flour and coat completely.
Add two tablespoons of the olive oil to a large skillet over medium to high heat. Add the beef and sear all over for about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In the reserved skillet add the remaining olive oil, carrots, celery, potato, onion and garlic. Stir well and leave to cook stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes.
Add the thyme sprigs and the wine. Stir well and leave to simmer until the wine evaporates, about 10 more minutes.
Add the beef, tomatoes, stock and bay leaves. Stir well. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer the stew to the casserole. Cook uncovered for 3 - 4 hours or until the beef is fork tender.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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