When you’re craving stick-to-your-ribs comfort food, you can’t go wrong with this recipe for hearty beef stew. This slow cooked meal in a bowl is packed with tender beef and vegetables in a thick, tasty broth.
Some days just call for a meat-and-potatoes meal.
You know those days. When it’s so cold outside that you just want to sit in front of a fire, wrapped in a blanket, bingeing your favorite TV show. On those days, don’t you wish there was a way to wrap yourself in a blanket from the inside out?
This hearty beef stew is the answer. It’s good old-fashioned comfort food.
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Go ahead and pull out your Dutch oven and start chopping those veggies.
This recipe is by way of my mama’s kitchen, a mashup of two recipes from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, a how-to guide I think every cook should own.
To create her hearty beef stew recipe, mom was inspired by a little of this and a little bit of that from BHG’s pot roast and beef stew recipes. The result is a stick-to-your ribs meal with lots of tender beef and vegetables in a thick, tasty broth.
When our son was a newborn, my mom came over one day to help with chores and babysitting so we could rest. She made a batch of this hearty beef stew for our dinner. We liked it so much that I called her the next week for the recipe, thinking I’d make a batch for us to eat all weekend.
I should preface this next part by assuring you that this is an easy recipe, even if it does take a little time to slow cook the stew. There’s not much tending you need to do, just a sauteeing in the beginning and later some stirring when you’re adding the flour to thicken the broth. But if you have kids, you know what a haze those first sleepless weeks (months!) can be. How hard it can be to accomplish normal tasks, like taking a shower or making yourself dinner.
So that explains why I was still in my bathrobe when it was time to start dinner. And clearly, I was tired from all the middle-of-the-night feedings and changings. So while I was stirring the stew, making sure the flour didn’t burn, I didn’t even notice that the belt of my robe was sitting on the stovetop until the end of it caught fire. I was able to quickly pat out the flames without setting myself or the kitchen on fire. And I didn’t ruin the stew either.
But I did have a few flashbacks to that time I sent my hairsprayed bangs on fire in high school chemistry class. But that’s a story for another day…
The lesson here?
Well, first, be careful when cooking in your bathrobe!
But more importantly, if you’re a sleep-deprived new parent, ask your mama to make this hearty beef stew for you. Doesn’t comfort food always taste better when it’s prepared by someone who loves you?
Hearty Old Fashioned Beef Stew
- 2 pounds beef chuck or stew beef cut into cubes
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 1/2 cups boiling water
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 4 carrots sliced
- 2 stalks celery sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Season meat with salt and pepper.
- In a large Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Add meat and brown on all sides.
- Add boiling water, Worchestershire sauce, garlic, onions, bay leaves and salt and pepper to taste.
- Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, checking and stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and to make sure the liquid hasn't completely evaporated.
- Add carrots, celery and potatoes. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
- Remove 1/2 cup of broth from pan and mix in 1/4 cup flour. Stir until smooth.
- Move meat and vegetables to one side of the pan. Add flour and broth mixture to the other side, stirring to make gravy. Cook for five minutes until thickened. You may add additional water or beef broth if you prefer a thinner gravy.
- Remove bay leaves and serve.
If you liked this recipe, see what else is cooking in the Atta Girl Says kitchen.