Beef Stew

Beef Stew
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Beef Stew, Slow Cooked Tender Meat with a Savory Stew Base and Vegetables of your choosing for one of the Best Beef Stews. Most of it is just the waiting time while the aromas fill the air.

There are a few things I do differently, but I still stick to the French way of Searing the meat with added flour to create a roux. Browned slightly and then cooked for 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

Searing Beef Cubes
Searing Beef Cubes

I almost always add in the Potatoes and sometimes the Barley. Sometimes just diced tomatoes. I also add in a Packet of Onion Soup mix. It has additional subtle flavoring that goes really well with beef stew. But I also add Fava Beans. This I think is Key.

Fava Bean

I add Fava Bean or Flava Bean. The beans are tender, with a sweet, mild grassy flavor reflective of spring that contributes to the whole dish. If you ever had Fraser Farm Meatballs and Gravy, you will instantly recognize the taste. I think it works exceptionally well. I use canned Fava Bean and use two Beans or more for the stew, skin removed. Mashing it with the Tomato Paste. The rest of the beans I freeze for later use. You can choose to omit this in the recipe if you’d like. But it really does bring Flava! To the Dish.

NOTE: Fava beans are a trigger food for G6PD, a hereditary enzymatic deficiency. Those who have this deficiency can develop Anemia (potentially severe), Jaundice, Rapid heart rate and shortness of breath from eating fava beans. Populations with the highest percentage of people affected by the deficiency include Sephardic Jews and those of Mediterranean and African heritage. People who are diagnosed with G6PD should not consume fava beans, and if you ever experience symptoms or discomfort after eating them, you should be tested for this genetic deficiency.

Render Fat

Render the fat trimmed off of the Meat if any with Beef Suet, Lard or Oil. If there is no fat or very little, then just use Beef Suet or Lard. Although, you could just use Oil as well. Some like to use Butter. You only need a few Tablespoons.

Rendering Fat
Rendering Beef Fat

Degrease Beef Stew

Don’t worry if you add too much Oil. You can always degrease the Stew when it is done Braising the meat. Which means to scoop off excess fat on the top of the stew or use a paper towel to dab and pick up the excess fat.

Thickener

The standard is Flour. It is used in French Style Cooking, by adding to the seared meat and coating the meat that also creates a fond on the bottom of the pan. Before liquid is added to lift the fond up and transfer the flavors to the sauce.

But why not use Barley Flour. It can add a flavor of depth with it’s slightly nutty flavor and has associated health benefits. I always try to sneak barley in on dishes.

The sauce is thickened slightly with Tomato Paste and more with the flour that we use on the meat to create the Fond. If you find that after cooking you still want it thicker. Add equal amounts of Beef Stock and Flour and add to hot stew and continue to cook until thickened.

Beef Stew Liquids

The Stew in my version of Beef Stew consist of Lipton Onion Soup mix which has Beef Broth in it already and water with added Beef Broth Powder to taste. Alternatively, you can drop the water by up to 2 Cups and replace with Wine or Beer. You could also add a can of Creamed Soup for a creamy version of Beef Stew.

Vegetables

The Vegetables are cooked along with the stew the last 30 minutes or so after the meat has braised for 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

Optionally cook the Vegetables separately in salted water and add to the stew when it is done. This will save you an hour and give more control over the tenderness of your mixed vegetables like the Celery, Carrots, Potatoes or Turnip.

This is also good for freezing. Where you can cook the Potatoes or Turnips separately and place into a bowl and top with the beef stew. The Remaining Beef Stew can be frozen without the Potatoes or Turnip or other vegetables that don’t really freeze well.

For Quick Cook items like Waxed Beans or Peas, add these at the very end before serving.

The Onion is slightly caramelize and there are lots of carrots so added sugar is not needed. Although you could add some if desired.

The Tang or High notes will come from the Celery and Tomato Paste. You can add different kinds of Vinegar’s or Worcestershire sauce if desired.

Roasted Vegetables

Prepare the Beef Stew as directed in the recipe, but use Roasted Vegetables to add to the Beef Stew after the 1 1/2 – 2 Hours of slow cooking.

The Roasted Vegetables add additional Flavor and Rustic Value to Beef Stew and is a great way to use up left over Roasted Vegetables as well as cutting down on cook time. This also serves the purpose of being able to freeze left over Beef Stew without the vegetables that don’t freeze so well. Just place some roasted vegetables into a bowl and cover with the Beef Stew. Any leftover Beef Stew can easily be frozen.

Beef Stew Add Ins

  • Pearl Onions instead of or in addition to Onions
  • Barley – Rinse and Cook Separately, added to finished stew
  • Potatoes, Turnip, Parsnips or Diced Tomatoes
  • Red, White Wine or Beer – Reduce the Water by the same amount of Wine added up to 2 Cups.
  • Waxed Beans or Peas – Add these to finished stew
  • Dumplings – use JAH Poly Flour to make the dumplings by adding milk or water and place on top of the stew the last 10 minutes of cooking.
  • Bacon and use the Fat from the bacon to sear the meat.
  • Mushrooms added with the Onions and Garlic.
  • Cream of Soups for a creamy version
Beef Stew & Dumplings
Beef Stew & Dumplings

Freezing Beef Stew

Freeze Beef Stew for up to 3 months or longer without potatoes, turnip or other vegetables that don’t freeze well. An alternative is to make the Beef Stew without the Vegetables that don’t freeze well (Potatoes, Turnips, etc.) And prepare those separately to add to the Bowl and cover with stew when serving.

Slow Cooker

Follow the same steps but instead of cooking in a braising pan. Cook in the slow cooker. Times may vary so check for doneness.

Stove Top

Follow the same steps but instead of cooking in a braising pan. Bring to boil and simmer low and covered in a heavy Stock Pot. Adjust by adding more water if necessary.

Seasoning

The main Seasoning or Flavor coming through is Beef and Fava with some assistance from Barley Flour. So just a light seasoning or to taste of Parsley, Thyme and Rosemary is all that is needed. With the Addition of Wine or Beer you can adjust the overall taste as well.

Adjustments

Always Adjust the Seasoning before serving.

Depending on the cooking method used you may have to add more Broth to account for liquid loss.

If you find that you still want the stew thicker. Add equal amounts of Flour and Broth and mix into the Hot Stew and continue to cook until thickened.

If you find it is too runny. Place over High heat to reduce the sauce quickly.

Beef Stew

Braised Beef Stew with Carrots & Celery with the option to cook additional Vegetables with or without the stew.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time3 hours
Servings: 6 portions

Ingredients

  • 1 lbs Boneless Beef Chuck
  • 6 C Water
  • 1/4 C All Purpose or Barley Flour
  • 1 packet Onion Soup Mix
  • 2 Tbl Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tbl Beef Suet, Lard or Oil – more if needed
  • 2 tsp Beef Broth Powder or to taste
  • 2 Fava Beans from Can – or more
  • 1 tsp Gelatin
  • 1 Onion
  • 5 Garlic Peeled and Smashed or Chopped
  • 3 Carrots
  • 2 Celery
  • Herbs & Spices of your Choice – Parsley, Thyme, Rosemary, work really well add to taste.
  • Kosher Salt & Black Pepper as needed

Instructions

Preparation

  • Preheat the oven to 325 F if using the Oven.
    Trim the Meat of Fat and reserve. Cut into 1 inch cubes, Salt and Pepper. Set aside.
    In a Bowl Combine Water, Onion Soup Mix, Gelatin and Broth Powder to taste with Herbs and Spices. Set aside.
    Mash 2 Fava Beans or more with Tomato Paste. Set aside.
    Measure out the Flour and Set aside.
    Chop the Onions and Smash or Chop the Garlic. Set aside.

Cooking

  • In a Large Heavy Stock Pot, Render chopped Beef Fat by cooking over medium to medium low heat until crisp with 1 Tbl Fat. Discard the crackling. Add more Fat if needed.
  • Turn the heat up to Medium High, add the Cubed Meat to the Hot Fat and Sear on all sides. Toss once in a while to get all sides. Reduce the Heat to Medium and Remove the Meat from the Pot.
  • Add the Onions and Garlic and continue to cook until the Onions are lightly browned. Add the Tomato Paste mixture and cook 1 minute more. Then add the Meat with Juices and Flour and mix well.
    Continue to cook until the Roux is slightly brown. If using Barley Flour, it will go a darker brown. Add in the Bowl of Water and Raise the Heat to Max to bring it to a Boil. Mix well scraping the bottom of the Pot as it Thickens.
  • Empty into a Braising Pan and cover. Place into the oven at 325 F and braise the meat for 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
    Or Stove Top – keep it at a low simmer with a lid. Add more Broth if necessary.
    Or Slow Cooker – Empty into slow cooker and slow cook.
    When the meat is done Degrease the sauce if needed.
  • Cut the Celery, Carrots and any other vegetables you might want to include like Potatoes and Boil in salted water separately to add them to the stew when done.
    Or add them to the Stew and continue to cook for 30 minutes or longer or until vegetables are tender. Add Waxed Beans, Peas at the end if using. Adjust the seasoning.

Notes

WINE: If adding Wine or Beer, add up to 2 Cups depending on taste and reduce the water by the same amount added.
If you don’t have a Braising Pan you can use a Roasting Pan covered with Tin Foil tightly and the lid on top. You may have to add more water to adjust, but it does work.
Another Variation for a Rustic Beef Stew is to use Roasted Vegetables. This also cuts down on the cook time if preparing your Beef Stew Stove Top, slow cooker or Crock-Pot.
Course: Main Course, Soup, Stew
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Keywords: Beef Stew
Author: JAH
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