Certain meals seem to conjure certain feelings and memories. Beef stew, for me at least, brings crisp, chilly weather with leaves crunching under your feet to mind. It is a great meal for both fall and winter. Put it in the crockpot or on a low burner, go outside and build a snowmen with the kids and it will be waiting to warm you up from the inside out. It is also a fun meal to let the kids help out with. Kids can peel all the vegetables and help put everything into the pot.
Start with some quality Canada beef. You can use stewing beef cubes or beef blade roast or steak trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces. Always brown your meat to start. After you brown the meat and remove it from the pan, you will want to use all those delicious juices left behind. Add garlic and onion to the pot you browned the meat in. Use some broth to scrape up the bottom of the pan and get all of that remaining flavor. Now you are ready to add in the beef, tomatoes, worcestershire sauce, vinegar, thyme, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Bring it to a simmer. At this point if you prefer to use a slow cooker you can transfer everything to the slow cooker along with potatoes and carrots or whatever vegetables you choose. Cook on low in the slow cooker for about eight hours. If you choose to continue cooking in the pan you can simmer covered, on stove-top or in oven for about an hour. Add vegetables; cook 30 to 40 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove and discard bay leaf. Now you have a satisfying comfort food to serve your family for dinner. Beef stew is a simple recipe that offers great flavor using protein and vegetables all in one easy dish.
|2 tbsp (30 mL)||olive or vegetable oil|
|2 lb (1 kg)||Stewing Beef Cubes|
|¼ cup (50 mL)||all-purpose flour|
|2||garlic cloves, minced|
|1||large onion, cut lengthwise into eighths|
|1 cup (250 mL)||beef stock|
|28 oz (796 mL)||can diced plum tomatoes|
|2 tbsp (30 mL)||EACH Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar|
|1 tsp (5 mL)||dried thyme (or 4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme)|
|½ tsp (2 mL)||EACH salt and pepper|
|2||carrots, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks|
|½ lb (250 g)||scrubbed mini potatoes, quartered|
|Chopped fresh parsley|
- Heat oil in Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat until sizzling hot. Brown meat in 4 batches. Set beef aside; sprinkle with flour.
- Add garlic and onion to pot; cook 3 to 4 minutes until just softened, adding more oil if necessary. Stir in broth, scraping up browned bits from the bottom. Add reserved beef, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, thyme, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer.
- Simmer covered, on stove-top or in 325°F (160°C) oven for 1 hour until beef is fork tender. Add vegetables; cook 30 to 40 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove and discard bay leaf. Garnish each serving with some chopped parsley.