This recipe calls for the stew to be slow-cooked in the oven instead of simmering on the stove top. To do that, a cast-iron Dutch oven will be perfect for the job, though you can use any oven-safe casserole. This recipe feeds about 4 to 6 persons, but I actually cooked this huge pot for two, with intention of leftovers for the next day. The thing about beef stew is that it stew tastes great the next day (can’t resist the cheap pun) so it’s worthwhile to cook a bit more.
Beef Stew Recipe
Add 1 canned tomatoes (either whole or chopped type) if you like a sweet tomato flavour for your stew. Your stew will be red instead of brown.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 2 hrs
- 800g stew beef cubes (chunks)
- olive oil
- 4 stalks celery finely chopped
- 1 onion diced
- 1 glass red wine
- plain flour
- 200g berastagi potatoes (or any hard potatoes)
- 2 cups beef broth (or cheat by using 1 1/2 beef cube)
- 4 carrots peeled and cut to chunks
- 250 packet portebello mushrooms quartered
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/2 tbsp black peppercorns slightly crushed
- 6 sprigs of thyme (can use any other herbs you have e.g. rosemary)
- 1 garlic bulb separated into cloves and peeled
- 1 1/2 tbsp Worcester (Worcestershire) sauce
- 1 cup frozen vegetables(peas, corns and carrots) thawed
- salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- Dutch oven or oven-safe casserole, at least 3-litre capacity
- Kitchen tongs
- Silicon oven gloves (for taking the hot casserole in and out of the oven)
- Season beef cubes with salt and pepper. Heat casserole with olive oil, then add beef cubes one at a time (you will hear a gentle sizzle and see slight smoking) to form one layer on the pan. Do not overcrowd the meat. Let the cubes brown on one side, then flip over with kitchen tongs and brown on the other side. Take out browned meat and set aside. Add more oil to the casserole if needed and repeat until all the beef cubes are browned.
- Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the casserole. Then add celery and onions and 'sweat' them on medium low heat (about 3 -5 minutes).
- Pour a glass of red wine in and saute the celery and onions and wait a few seconds for the alcohol to evaporate (you smell the nice aroma of the wine).
- Stir in 1 tbsp plain flour and cook for one minute more to thicken the mixture.
- Add beef stock and when it comes to a simmer, add carrots, mushrooms, bay leaves, peppercorns, thyme, garlic and Worcester sauce. Bring the stew to a simmer.
- Add potatoes and return the browned beef cubes to the casserole.
- When the stew is bubbling, turn off the stove. Cover the casserole with lid and transfer to an oven. Bake the casserole at 180°C (356°F) for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
- Take the casserole out and check the consistency of the stew. Tweak it by adding more flour (1 tbsp at a time, stir through to mix well) if the stew is too watery, or more beef broth/hot water if the stew is too dry.
- Add thawed frozen vegetables and mix into the stew. Cover with lid and bake for another 20 minutes, or until the beef is tender. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper, if needed. Serve beef stew with rice or bread.
Noob Cook Tips
- If you do not wish to bake the stew, you can simmer on the stove top till the beef is tender and the gravy is reduced to a consistency of your liking.
- To adjust the consistency of the stew gravy, add beef stock or hot water for more liquid and plain flour for thicker gravy.