To make this beef stew, you'll need a large Dutch oven, which is a heavy cast-iron pot witha tight-fitting lid. Cast iron retains heat very well, making it perfect for slow-cooking stews. The kind of Dutch oven with an enamel coating is the best, because they're easier to clean (and they look nicer).
You can use a Dutch oven on the stovetop, but where they really excel is in the oven. Oven cooking lets food cook evenly because the heat comes from all around, not from directly underneath. So you won't end up with a burnt bottom, which can happen on the stovetop even at low temperatures if you cook something long enough.
Because it's so flavorful, the best kind of beef for stew is beef chuck. Don't bother with so-called "stew meat" which you see at the store sometimes. 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 (as opposed to the generic term "stew meat" which could be anything).
Also see: Why You Need to Have a Great Butcher
- 2 lbs boneless beef chuck, excess fat removed and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 lb waxy (low starch) potatoes 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
- ¼ cup canola oil (or other vegetable oil)
- 3 cups brown stock or beef stock
- ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp cracked black pepper
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- Kosher salt to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 300°F (150°C).
- Pat any excess moisture off the beef with clean paper towels. This will help you get a nice dark brown sear on the meat. Season the meat generously with Kosher salt.
- In a heavy, cast-iron dutch oven or brazier, heat the oil over high heat. When the oil is really hot, add the beef and brown it thoroughly on all sides of the cubes. 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.
- Add the bay leaf, the dried herbs and the browned beef to the pot along with the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and the cracked pepper. Heat on the stovetop until the liquid comes to a boil, then cover with a tight-fitting lid and transfer the whole thing to the oven.
- Let the meat braise in the oven for one hour.
- Remove pot from the oven, add the potatoes, carrots and celery, cover the pot again and return it to the oven for another 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
- Transfer the pot from the oven 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 serve right away, garnished with the chopped parsley.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||27 g|
|Saturated Fat||7 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||14 g|
|Dietary Fiber||6 g|