Monday, January 30, 2012

The World's Best Beef Stew


This stew is so good and so hearty, it’s simple comfort food at it’s best. I’ve made this same recipe for more years than I care to remember, and it always turns out perfectly.

2 lbs. stew meat

1 large onion, diced

1 large can crushed tomatoes

1 box beef broth

16 oz. bag of baby carrots, cut in half on the diagonal

4-5 large cubed potatoes, preferably yukon gold

1 bag frozen peas

salt and pepper

optional: a bottle of red wine instead of the beef broth (cabernet sauvignon works well)

Put the stew meat, onion, crushed tomatoes, and beef broth in a large oven proof casserole, salt and pepper to taste. You can brown the beef if you like, I usually don’t. Bake, covered, in a preheated 350° oven for two and a half hours.

Put on top of stove, add carrots and simmer fifteen minutes. Then add cubed potatoes and simmer an additional 20-30 minutes, checking for doneness so they don’t get mushy. At the end of cooking time, pour in the bag of peas, turn off the heat, taste to correct seasonings and sit aside. So easy to make and better the next day.

Optional: We like stew made with red wine, so I sometimes substitute the wine for the beef broth.

Note: When you take the stew out of the oven, if you need more liquid, add another cup or so of beef broth before you add the carrots. Mine is usually thick enough that I don’t need to add a thickening agent, but if you want your liquid thicker, after the veggies are cooked, mix up a slurry of 1/4 cup cornstarch in 1/2 cup water, and add it until you get the consistency you like.

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