Beef Stew Recipe: The Ultimate Cold Weather Comfort Food

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You know that rush of coziness that comes over you on the first brisk autumn day of the year when you dig out your favorite sweater or blanket? That means the season for soups and stews has officially arrived as well. While these comfort foods are delicious year-round regardless of the weather, these hearty meals are especially welcome once temperatures drop.

Beef stew is the perfect recipe for bringing warmth to your fall and winter days. The hearty aromas fill the kitchen with coziness that will undoubtedly lure everyone to the table. What’s more, stew contains common ingredients that are less expensive, making it easy to feed many people with just one pot. Even the ideal cuts of beef for stew are less costly. Overall, it’s an uncomplicated meal and highly forgiving, making it a savory joy to cook.

In this article, we’ll walk you through how to make the best beef stew recipe, what to serve with it, and answer some FAQs on cooking and storage.

How to make the ultimate beef stew recipe

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This recipe makes eight servings, takes 25 minutes to prepare, and 90 minutes to cook.

Ingredients

2 pounds beef roast, tri-tip, or short ribs

5 tablespoons cooking oil, divided

Salt and black pepper

3 medium carrots, diced

1 large sweet onion, diced

3 medium celery sticks, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons butter

10 small mushrooms, sliced

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup red wine

1 cup tomato sauce

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 

4 cups beef broth

2 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1/2 tablespoon sugar

Ground black pepper

2-4 cups halved baby potatoes

1 cup frozen sweet peas

2 tablespoons chopped parsley, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. As it heats, cut the beef into 1 ½-inch chunks.
  3. Add two to three tablespoons of the cooking oil to the skillet and add the beef.
  4. Using salt and pepper, season the meat before frying for seven to 10 minutes.
  5. Once the beef is well browned, move it into a large stockpot or Dutch oven that works on your stovetop.
  6. Add half a cup of water to the skillet to deglaze it. Essentially, this means diluting the brown bits of beef from the pan. Technically called “fond,” these leftover pieces contain plenty of flavors. Once the water hits the pan, it will come to a quick boil and release the fond from the pan. Add this mixture to the pot.
  7. Using the same frying pan and one tablespoon of the oil, sauté the carrots, celery, and onion over medium heat for four to five minutes, until the onions soften.
  8. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute.
  9. Place this mixture in the stockpot with the beef and add the butter to the skillet.
  10. Once the butter melts, sauté the mushrooms for four to five minutes, season them with salt once cooked.
  11. Add the flour to the pan, followed by the mushrooms, coating them with the flour evenly. Cook them for one minute before putting them into the pot with the meat and vegetables.
  12. Now the stockpot gets its chance to shine. Add the wine, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, broth, spices, and herbs except for the parsley. Season with pepper to taste and one and a half teaspoons of salt. 
  13. Stir it to combine and cover the pot with the lid, bringing it to a boil over medium heat.
  14. Reduce the burner to low heat and simmer until the beef is tender for one to one and a half hours. 
  15. Add the potatoes and peas, cooking for approximately 20 minutes or until tender. Serve warm, garnished with parsley.

Nutritional values

Calories: 373

Carbohydrates: 29 grams

Protein: 30 grams

Fat: 13 grams

Saturated fat: 6 grams

Polyunsaturated fat: 1 gram

Monounsaturated fat: 5 grams

Cholesterol: 74 milligrams

Sodium: 1,043 milligrams

Fiber: 5 grams

Sugar: 8 grams

Original recipe: Tatyana’s Everyday Food

What can you serve with beef stew?

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Bread: Many types of bread pair amazingly with beef stew such as buns, dumplings, biscuits, cornbread, and even a classic slice topped with butter. Try dipping them in the gravy.

Grains: Pair your stew with rice, couscous, or polenta for a grainy side that will complement the dish. You can also try serving your stew over rice if you want the simple grains to bring out the flavor in each bite.

Potatoes: If you enjoy an additional serving of potatoes on the side, go with roasted, mashed, or smashed potatoes for a quick and straightforward dish.

Vegetables: Something fresh will often provide variety while avoiding that too-full feeling that comes with filling up on heavy foods. Fortunately, many veggies complement stew, such as green salads, steamed or roasted vegetables like broccoli or asparagus, stuffed tomatoes, and tomato and herb salad.

How to make beef stew in a crockpot or slow cooker?

To make this recipe in a slow cooker, follow the directions until step 12, adding the ingredients to your slow cooker instead of the stockpot. At step 12, add the red wine to the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients for the beef stew, but not the parsley. Set the cooker to high heat and cook the mixture until the meat is tender for six to seven hours. Since the lid stays on your slow cooker, the liquid will evaporate less. For a thicker stew, reduce the amount of broth to three cups.

How to thicken beef stew

This recipe uses flour as a thickening agent. It’s a traditional method that will help you achieve a less liquid dish, and since you’re frying it with the mushrooms, you’re cooking off any raw-flour taste. From the start, you can achieve a thicker stew by ensuring your measurements are correct. However, if you find the stew too soupy, you can mix a teaspoon of flour with a small amount of water to create a slurry – not a pleasant-sounding word, but it does the trick – and mix it into stew. Bring the stew to a boil to cook the flour, activating the starch. Remember to bring it back down to a simmer before continuing to cook.

Additionally, if you’re OK waiting a bit longer before eating, you can cook for an additional hour after adding the potatoes. Or, for an extra-thick consistency, reduce the amount of broth from four cups to three.

Can you freeze your beef stew?

Yes, beef stew freezes incredibly, which is excellent because most recipes will leave you with leftovers for days if you’re cooking for one, two, or a small family. Wait until the stew cools and portion it into air-tight containers with some space left at the top to accommodate expansion. Store it in your freezer for up to three months. Using a heavy plastic container, you can reheat it from frozen in the microwave or use warm water to loosen it from the sides and pop it into a pot. Take caution with glass containers, as they may shatter under extreme temperature changes.

How long can I keep beef stew in the fridge?

You can store beef stew in the fridge for up to three days. Wait for it to cool, and use air-tight containers to keep it fresh. Reheat it in the microwave or on the stove over medium heat.

It’s stewpendous

Now that you know how to make beef stew and what you can serve alongside it, make it fancy by pairing it with a glass of red wine: Here’s a guide to help you choose. And if you’re looking for more recipes that offer a warm hug on a cold day, check out this list of soup recipes for some inspiration.

If you’re craving stew or another homey favorite, and you find you’re missing some ingredients, no need to fret. You can order them in seconds. Thanks to Gopuff, you can spend more time cooking and less time shopping with daily essentials delivered to your door in a matter of minutes.

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