Monday, October 21, 2013

Basic Beef Stew

Fall is in the air. It's my favorite season. There's just something about the cooler weather that adds an extra bounce to my step. So, I've been up and bustling about since the crack of dawn. Yesterday, we went pumpkin picking and while my husband carved a pumpkin as our 15-month old son looked on, I cooked up a pot of delicious beef stew.

In the past, I've tried different variations of beef stew. There have been some that added crushed or diced tomatoes or tomato paste to the base. Other recipes instructed searing the beef on such high heat that the outsides would char and burn and stick to the pot. Needless to say, I haven't had much luck with finding the right beef stew recipe.

This time, instead of trying to find the perfect beef stew recipe online and in cookbooks, I decided to take the knowledge learned from past mistakes and combine it with my general knowledge of cooking gained over the past few years of experience. I also read a lot of comments posted by reviewers of recipes until I came up with a recipe of my own. I got just what I wanted: a simple, hearty beef stew that my whole family, especially myself, could love. And we all loved it. Even the 15-month old.

Taste in Bloom Original Photo

Difficulty: Easy; Serves: 8; Total time: 45 minutes 

Taste in Bloom Original
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 2 lbs sirloin steak, chuck roast, or London broil chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 - 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp herbes de Provence or oregano
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced 
  • 5oz frozen peas
  • 4 cups beef stock


In a large Ziploc bag, combine the pieces of meat with  flour, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, herbes de Provence, salt and pepper. Shake the bag until all the meat pieces are thoroughly covered with flour and seasonings.

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium to medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, melt one tablespoon of butter in the pot.

Sear half of the meat pieces, stirring frequently, until they are completely browned, about two to five minutes. Remove the seared meat to a plate.

Add another tablespoon of olive oil and another tablespoon of butter to the pot. It will get hot quickly, so be prepared to add the other half of meat pieces to the pot. Sear the meat as before.

Once the second batch of meat is seared, add the first batch back to the pot and add the beef stock. Bring to a boil and add all of the vegetables. Reduce heat to medium-low, bringing the broth to a simmer.

Simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are fork tender. Serve hot.

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