Beef and Vegetable Stew
Community training session dinner, 2/6/13
Beef stew is a delicious way to stretch a smaller, less expensive cut of meat. Slow cooking makes flavorful but tough cuts (like chuck roast, round roast, or pot roast) tender and delicious. In this stew, there is lots of hearty beef flavor, plus lots of healthy vegetables.
- 6 tablespoons flour, divided between beef and vegetables
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless stew meat (chuck roast, round roast, pot roast, or other tough cut), cut into 1” cubes
- 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup combination of chopped carrots and celery, optional
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups beef broth (or use chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 6 – 8 cups chopped root vegetables – any combination of potatoes, carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, turnip, or other, cut into rough 1” cubes
STOVETOP INSTRUCTIONS: In bowl or plastic bag, combine 4 tablespoons flour and pepper. Add beef cubes and toss or shake to coat.
Heat a large heavy pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil, then brown the beef in batches: place some of the beef in the pan, just enough that it’s less than 1 layer (you should be able to see the bottom of the pan in places). Allow to cook without stirring for 2-4 minutes, until the bottom is deep brown. Stir and cook 2-4 minutes longer, until browned on another side. Remove the browned beef to a plate or bowl – it won’t be cooked through at this point, just deep brown on the outside.
Add onion, carrots/celery (if using), and garlic to pot. Cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, until vegetables are soft, 6-8 minutes. If the vegetables are sticking, add a little water or stock to the pan. Once the vegetables are tender, add remaining 2 tablespoons of flour and stir to coat. Add beef back to the pot, then add the broth, tomato paste, thyme, and rosemary to the pot. Bring to a simmer, turn heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
After 1 1/2 hours, add the chopped root vegetables. Stir, cover, and simmer for an additional 20-40 minutes, until vegetables and beef are completely tender. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired.
SLOW COOKER INSTRUCTIONS: Follow instructions above to prepare beef and flour. Brown beef in a large pan (see instructions above), then remove beef to slow cooker crock. Add onion, carrots/celery (if using), and garlic to pan. Cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, until vegetables are soft, 6-8 minutes. If the vegetables are sticking, add a little water or stock to the pan. Once the vegetables are tender, add remaining 2 tablespoons of flour and stir to coat. Add 1 cup beef broth to the pan, scraping up any browned-on bits. Pour vegetables and broth into crock with the beef. Add remaining broth, tomato paste, and thyme. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours. Then, add root vegetables, cover, and cook for an additional 1 hour on high or 1-2 hours on low, until vegetables and beef are completely tender. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired.