|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
To make this beef stew, you'll need a large Dutch oven, which is a heavy cast-iron pot with a tight-fitting lid. Cast iron retains heat marvelously, making it perfect for slow-cooking stews like this one. The enamel-coated ones are easier to clean (and they look nicer).
Oven braising cooks the stew evenly because the heat comes from all around, not directly underneath. So you won't end up with a burnt bottom, which can happen on the stovetop even at low temperatures.
Don't bother with the so-called "stew meat" you see at the store sometimes. Instead, get yourself a 2-pound slab of beef chuck and cut it into cubes yourself. It'll be cheaper, and fresher (cut-up meat spoils more quickly than a single big piece), and you'll know it's chuck (versus the generic "stew meat" which could be anything).
- 2 lbs. boneless beef chuck (excess fat removed and cut into 1-inch cubes)
- 1 lb. waxy potatoes (low-starch, such as Yukon golds, red-skinned potatoes, or white round potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks)
- 2 large carrots (peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces)
- 2 large celery ribs (chopped into 1-inch pieces)
- 1 medium onion (peeled roughly chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (peeled and smashed)
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil (e.g. canola)
- 3 cups beef stock (or broth)
- 1/2 cup frozen peas (thawed)
- 3 tbsp. flour
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
- Kosher salt (to taste)
- Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
Pre-heat oven to 300 F.
Pat any excess moisture from the meat with clean paper towels. This will help achieve a nice dark brown sear on it.
Season the meat generously with Kosher salt.
In a heavy, cast-iron dutch oven or brazier, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is really hot, add the beef and brown it thoroughly on all sides. Don't overcrowd the pan. Work in batches if necessary. When a rich brown crust has developed on all sides of the beef, remove it from the pan and set it aside.
Lower the heat to medium, add the onions to the pot and sauté for 5 minutes or so, or until they turn slightly soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the flour to form a thin paste. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring throughout.
Now slowly pour in the stock, gently scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze.
Return the browned beef to the pot along with the tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce. Heat on the stovetop until the liquid comes to a boil, then add the bay leaf and dried herbs, cover with a tight-fitting lid and transfer the whole thing to the oven. Let the meat braise in the oven for one hour.
Add the potatoes, carrots, and celery, recover the pot and return it to the oven for another 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Transfer the pot to the stovetop. Remove the lid and simmer for another 15 minutes or until the stew is thickened.
Stir in the peas, adjust seasoning with Kosher salt and black pepper, and serve right away, garnished with the chopped parsley.