A good beef stew recipe is a must have in your winter meal rotation. Not that you can’t make it during other seasons, but there is just something about a steaming bowl of delicious stew on a cold day that is so comforting. It took me a long time to perfect my recipe to the point that my husband declared it “the best stew ever”, and this recipe is the result of years of trial and effort.
You can find stewing beef for $3.88/lb at Metro this week and carrots, onions and potatoes are $1.00 per bag at No Frills. I also use inexpensive cuts of steak such as inside round and cut it up myself if beef cubes are not on sale. You can add other veggies to this, such as turnip, corn or green beans if you’d like. This stew freezes well too, so if this is a large quantity for you, divide it into meal sized portions in freezer safe containers. Some blustery day (coming soon), you will be thankful!
3 Tbsp olive oil or oil of choice
1 Tbsp butter
2 pounds beef stew meat, cubed
salt & pepper
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
4 cups beef stock or broth, more if needed
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp sugar or sweetener of choice
4 small carrots, peeled & cubed
4 medium potatoes, peeled & cubed
1 Tbsp parsley
2 Tbsp fresh Thyme
1 tsp Paprika
1 bay leaf (optional)
1-2 Tbsp Cornstarch
3-4 Tbsp water
Season the stewing beef with salt & pepper. Heat oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the butter, and as soon as it is melted, brown half of the meat, turning each cube as it browns, about 2 minutes. Don’t overcrowd the pan or the beef won’t brown properly, and this browning step is important because it gives your stew lots of flavour! Remove the meat from the pot with a slotted spoon and let rest on a plate. Continue browning the meat in batches, then set the plate of meat aside.
Add onion and garlic to the pot and stir. Cook for 2 minutes and then add the tomato paste. Stir the paste into the onions and cook for 2 more minutes.
Pour in the beef stock while stirring constantly. Add the Worcestershire & sweetener of choice. Add the beef (including any juices on the plate) and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours.
After 1.5 to 2 hours, add the potatoes and carrots, parsley, thyme bay leaf and paprika. Stir and cover. Let simmer for another 30 minutes. If it seems overly thick, add a bit more broth. Taste and add more salt & pepper if necessary.
In a small measuring cup, combine 2 Tbsp of cornstarch with 4-5 Tbsp cold water, stirring well to make a thin paste. Add slowly to the stew, stirring constantly, until the stew comes back up to a boil and thickens.