Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 2-3 hours
– 2 pounds (900g) beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
– 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, for coating
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 large onion, diced
– 4 garlic cloves, minced
– 4 carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
– 3 celery stalks, chopped
– 8 small red potatoes, quartered
– 2 cups beef broth
– 1 cup red wine (or substitute with extra beef broth)
– 2 bay leaves
– 1 teaspoon dried thyme
– Salt and pepper, to taste
– Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
1. Start by coating the beef cubes in flour. Season with salt and pepper, ensuring an even coat. This step will help thicken the stew later on while also adding a delightful crust to the beef.
2. In a large, sturdy pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Carefully add the floured beef cubes and cook until browned on all sides. This process helps seal in the juices, giving us tender and succulent pieces of meat.
3. Remove the beef from the pot and set it aside momentarily. In the same pot, add the diced onion and minced garlic. Sauté until fragrant and the onion begins to soften, around 5 minutes. The aromas that fill the kitchen at this stage are simply mesmerizing.
4. Add the carrots, celery, and potatoes to the pot. The vibrant colors add a touch of wholesomeness to our stew. Cook for a few minutes, allowing the vegetables to develop their natural sweetness.
5. Return the beef to the pot and pour in the beef broth and wine. The combination of these liquids creates a symphony of flavors that will delight your taste buds. Toss in the bay leaves and dried thyme, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Let the stew simmer gently for about 2-3 hours, or until the beef is melt-in-your-mouth tender. Stir occasionally to ensure the flavors meld together harmoniously.
7. Once the stew has reached perfection, remove the bay leaves and discard them. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Ladle it into bowls, filling the air with a tantalizing aroma. Sprinkle each portion with freshly chopped parsley for that final touch of green freshness.
8. Serve this comforting beef stew piping hot, perhaps with a crusty baguette on the side for dipping. Savor each spoonful, allowing the flavorful broth to warm your soul and transport you to that cozy cottage kitchen.
Tips and Variations:
– For a richer stew, feel free to add a spoonful of tomato paste or a splash of Worcestershire sauce to the pot during step 4.
– Experiment with different herbs and spices according to your taste preferences. Rosemary, paprika, or a dash of smoked chili powder can add exciting twists to the dish.
– If you prefer a thicker stew, you can make a slurry with two tablespoons of cornstarch and cold water, then stir it into the pot during the final minutes of cooking.
– Leftovers can make a delightful base for a beef pot pie or a filling addition to a shepherd’s pie. Get creative with your culinary creations!
Beef stew, with its timeless appeal and satisfaction, has the power to transport us to cherished moments of comfort and nostalgia. As you relish this classic dish, take a moment to appreciate the history, the love that went into its creation, and the joy it brings to your table. May you continue to embrace the traditions that nourish not just your body, but also your heart.