Vegetable Beef Stew

beef-stew-recipe
Beef stew is one of the most comforting and rich foods I can think of to have on a cold night. Put it all together in a pot and let it simmer for a couple of hours and you have one of the finest room perfumes known to man, as well. My mom always added tarragon to hers, and so I do that now. My grandma Hornsby always added turnips, and so do I, too. You may put pretty much any vegetables you like into your beef stew. Some that I didn’t use here, but that are delicious are corn kernels and/or peas added at the end with the green beans; cabbage cubed and added for the last 30 minutes or so; kale or spinach added right before serving; cooked beans are good, too, if you want to stretch the protein component of the stew.

Like any stew, this one improves with age. If you want to make it a day or three ahead of time and store it in the fridge, all the better. But I’ll toot my own stew horn and say that this is damn fine grub when eaten immediately, too. That is no lie. Serve this with buttermilk biscuits, sweet potato biscuits, or cornbread, or even just crackers if making a pot of stew is all you have in you today.

The amount of liquid you add depends on how thick a stew you like. I used 6 cups in the pot I made in the video and it was just the way I like it.

Video Recipe

Beef Stew Recipe – Printable!

5.0 from 7 reviews

Beef Stew with Vegetables
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds cubed beef chuck or country ribs
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon oil or bacon fat
  • 2 tablespoons sherry or wine
  • 2 cups sliced carrots (3-4 carrots)
  • 2 cups diced onion (1 large)
  • 1 cup sliced celery (2 stalks)
  • 1 medium potato, cubed
  • 1 turnip, peeled and cubed (or an additional potato)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon tarragon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6-8 cups beef broth or water
  • 1 cup green beans, cut into 1″ lengths (fresh or frozen)
Instructions
  1. Toss the cubed meat with the flour, salt, and pepper. Brown it in the bacon fat over medium-high heat in a large pot. Remove as it is browned.
  2. Deglaze the pot with sherry, scraping up all the brown bits. If you need to add some water to get everything loose, add a couple more tablespoons.
  3. Add the carrots, onion and celery. Soften briefly in the fat.
  4. Add all other ingredients except green beans and bring to boil. Simmer 1 hour uncovered or until vegetables and meat are very tender.
  5. Add green beans and simmer, covered, another 15 minutes.

 

Comments

  1. The Other Randy says:

    Well, I know what I’m going to be cooking tomorrow. I haven’t had beef stew in a couple of years. Strangely enough, I made beef stew for years using half chicken stock and half red wine. Back then I had some stupid aversion to making beef stock and the very few commercial brands available back then were awful. I think it was Jacques Pepin who convinced me that I should make chicken stock regularly. So when Cook’s Illustrated published one of their everyone-elses-but-ours-sucks articles with a recipe for beef stew calling for chicken stock and red wine, I eagerly adopted it and thought it was pretty good. Fast forward several years and I now make vegetable stock and beef stock more often than I make chicken stock. I must be getting senile because it never occurred to me to make beef stew. And I happen to have some bacon fat left over from my last batch of bacon-infused bourbon.

    I’m really intrigued by your suggestion of using country ribs and hopefully Costco will have them tomorrow.

    • That’s interesting, I’d love to find the old CI article explaining why chicken stock and red wine would be better than beef stock. I love your description of them ;) (I do honestly have a ton of respect for the CI work, but there are times I don’t agree with their conclusions.)

      I make beef stock often, too. I think because it’s easier to remove the bones from the stock with beef than with chicken. Chicken bones are so small and numerous, but when I do beef stock it’s usually just one large bone leftover from a roast or something. Easy to strain.

      Hope you can get some country ribs! They are actually my preferred stew cut because they are cheap, meaty, and have lots of connective tissue that breaks down and becomes silky and smooth. Yum! Wish I had some more of this stew right now.

  2. The Other Randy says:

    I was a subscriber to CI for over 15 years and still count a number of their recipes as favorites. But their America-centric attitude oftentimes strikes me as xenophobic (not completely sure that they have much respect for anyone in the U.S. living outside of New England) and propensity for trashing other culinary traditions really started to grate on me. The final straw was when they announced that a wok is not suitable for stir-frying. I cancelled my subscription but I do continue to buy three or four issues a year.

    As for the argument for chicken stock instead of beef, unfortunately they keep most of their content behind a paywall. Doubly unfortunately, I have the beef stew article in one of my hardbound annual editions of CI from back in the 90s but it’s buried somewhere in a 8′ x 8′ x 5′ stack of books (when I moved 2 years ago, I was going to buy new bookshelves, but then decided to replace most of my books with e-books and sell the tree-killers). I did find that they updated their recipe a couple of years ago to include anchovies and tomato paste, but the introduction simply takes it as gospel to use chicken stock and red wine. Emma Christensen of the Kitchn uses the 90s recipe and says that beef stock gives a stew a tinny flavor (I had to laugh when she wrote that CI “gave her permission to use chicken stock”). But I think that is more of a comment on the lousy quality of most commercial beef stocks. What I recall (vaguely) from the CI article is that they contended that beef stock overwhelms the vegetables. I was never sold on that argument…I was just happy to not use beef stock.

    Ironically, after using the same basic chicken stock recipe for years, I came across a method on Chow.com that calls for letting the stock simmer very slowly in the oven at 200 degrees for 8 hours or more. When you use that method along with chicken backs and feet, you get stock that is so gelatinous that it has the consistancy of jello when it’s refrigerated. An additional bonus is that, because of the low temperature, there is very little evaporation so that you end up with almost as much liquid as when you started. Simply because I don’t (for reasons that completely escape me) make anything that absolutely requires chicken stock anymore, I don’t make it very often. But I applied the Chow.com method to making beef stock and it makes for some really rich beef stock.

    I’ve never had a problem with removing bones from stock since I strain through an 8 inch wide fine-mesh stainer into a tall stainless steel, covered pot that goes into the refrigerator overnight so the fat rises to the top and forms an easily removed hockey puck.

    I’d really like to hear if you have a favorite recipe for vegetable stock. I have one that I like a lot, but since it include fennel, it’s not appropriate for some uses.

    • Yes, I’m sure you’re right about their beef stock logic. I remember years ago before the paper cartons were invented, I guess, all canned broth had an off taste. The ones available now are really pretty good. Not as rich and gelatinous as homemade, of course, but they have a good flavor. I’ve never had a problem with any in a paper carton.

      Have you seen this interview with CI’s Chris Kimball? Jeez, talk about a kill-joy! I see his point as it applies to some people (people like my grandma who never enjoyed cooking and only did it out of necessity) but it also comes off as the cooking magazine’s version of an informercial, where everything is overdrawn an impossibly difficult, until CI saves the day!

      Anyway, my vegetable stock always changes depending on what I have around.
      I save celery leaves, carrot tops, mushroom, onion, potato, parsley, and tomato trimmings in a bag in the freezer.
      When I have about a quart-size bag filled, I dump them all in the crockpot with about 4 q of water, a couple teaspoons of salt, 1/2 tsp whole peppercorns, a bay leaf or some thyme, 2-3 crushed garlic cloves, and some fresh parsley if I have it.
      Cook it on low for 8 hours then cool and strain. Since it’s all veg, I’ll then throw them into the compost.

      I think a crockpot works pretty similarly to the Chow oven method, low heat and contained. I love the crockpot for meat stocks – they come out so rich. I used to use my pressure cooker more for making stocks and broth, but I think a better flavor comes out of a slow method.

      • The Other Randy says:

        Thanks for the link to the Times article about C. Kimball! I’d always suspected that there was a lot of fraud about his public persona and his Norman Rockwell mindset. And while I’m not exactly proud of this, I’m experiencing a bit of glee about being the same age as he and having way more hair, despite having had a foot long ponytail whacked off. And to not being a Deadhead.

  3. Randy George says:

    Hello Hilah, It’s Randy and Merrilou up in Vermont. Your stew recipe is almost the same as mine but I use i/2 beef stock and 1/2 V8 juice for liquid. V8 is something I don’t drink but it is a whole different flavor when cooked. The tomato juice acid helps tenderize the meat and there is a lot of carrot and celery juice which add to the carrots and celery already in the stew. Add 2T Worcester and 2T A1 sauce, lots of ground pepper and that’s my stew recipe. Apple picking is on up here in Vermont and Merrilou and I were wondering if you would like to taste a few Vermont apples? We could send you some this week if you are going to be around to pick them up at the post office. Maybe we could send another jar of maple butter since you seem to like it so much. Love Randy and Merrilou

    • I never thought to use V8 for cooking! That’s ingenious! I actually really like V8 just for drinking, though I only ever have it when I’m on an airplane for some reason.
      We’d love some apples! I’m going to email you my home address, so they don’t end up at the post office too long. Thanks, Randy and Merrilou!

  4. Delicious!

  5. October is here which means cold air and hunting season! This is going to be perfect! LOVE THE SOUP!

  6. Gregory Roth says:

    Hey Hilah,

    Interesting discussion. I alway make stocks and broths in a slow cooker. But can I make this stew recipe in a slow cooker?

    I experience cooking beef in a slow cooker is that it turns out over cooked and tough. Is that just me or do other people experience the same problem.

    Greg

    • Hi Gregory!
      I’ve not had a problem cooking beef in the slow cooker. I do find I get better results cooked on low for a longer period of time, rather than on high for the shorter time. Most recipes have a range of time given, too (like, 8-10 hours) and maybe your crock just needs to go for the longer time given. Unfortunately not all of them cook at the same rate, so you have to figure out how your particular model works best.
      If you wanted to try this recipe in a slow cooker, you would need to reduce the liquid by about half to avoid a too-soupy stew.
      I hope that helps!

  7. Gonna make it in the evening with goat meat insteadof beef.because we dont eat beef for our religious reasons.love all of your recipe Hilah.already made butternut squash soup. That was incredible. my husband never touch butternut squash. I was totally surprised he got back to home with a big butternut squash. My english is not good. Please mercy me. Love all of your recipes

    • Hi Payel!
      Your English is fine! Don’t worry about it. :)
      This sounds really good to make with goat. I like goat meat. I’m so happy you enjoyed the butternut soup, too!

  8. Hi Hilah, thanks for your reply.yesterday i made this stew with goat meat.that was just too good..love all of your recipes.thank you

  9. Wow, this looks delicious! Going to make it tonight! Wish I had some beef stock though. That actually does make it richer! ewww ummmm… Cant wait!

  10. I have made this 3 times since I found the recipe. It’s definitely one of the best beef stew recipes I have ever made. My family LOVES this. Great job Hilah!!!

  11. I made this today for my Christmas dinner, and I must say it may be my favorite stew recipe. Ever. Thanks so much for sharing this fantastic recipe. :D

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