When you think about home cooking; homemade beef stew comes to our mind! What other dish brings back your memories of childhood with the aromas filling the kitchen with warmth and flavors of beef stew?
You can find stewing beef already cut and ready to cook, in your local grocery stores. Or you can purchase a whole chuck roast or even sirloin and cut it into pieces once you get home. This is a dish that wants everything thrown together so that it cooks on its own and the flavors are absorbed into the vegetables.
Rough chop your vegetables and throw them into the pot with the beef stew meat. Add your seasoning as you like. This is where you make your signature dish with this homemade beef stew dish. There are combinations of spices that interact with the beef and it’s up to you to choose which works for your kitchen.
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Here are some suggestions for your homemade beef stew when using seasonings; there are prepackaged seasonings and also blended seasonings like an Italian herb already in the bottle. These will work fine, but I if you have herbs that you favor and typically stock in your kitchen, then I suggest that you stick with them. I stock thyme, rosemary and bay leaves in my kitchen; these three herbs combined with the tomato flavors work well in this recipe. I also like adding a spicy kick with red pepper flakes but fresh ground black pepper works just as well.
In my kitchen I use a tomato paste or sauce to give the stew its color; my mom did it and so I carry on with the tradition. The tomato sauce or paste adds a texture to the beef stew as well as flavor. When you are adding in your stock, always be sure to have enough liquid to cover your ingredients. If you are short some liquid, add more water to the pot or try adding some wine, which adds even more flavor to the dish.
Red wine works great with beef, but a white will add flavor to the beef stew as well. Cooking is about using what you have in your kitchen and the flavors that you enjoy in your foods. Next think about the texture you want when you are adding liquid to your beef stew; some like a soupy beef stew with more liquid and other prefer a thicker sauce that coats the ingredients.
Another selection to this homemade beef stew dish are the vegetables that you want to use. Traditional beef stew has the standards of onion, potatoes and carrots in it. You can add or change depending on what you like to eat. Change the onions to shallots or pearl onions; add in turnips or peas and what about mushrooms?
There are so many selections that will make this dish a favorite in your home. A great meal is about combining the perfect ingredients that bring out the best of flavors. Experiment and add your own flavors to this basic homemade beef stew.
Homemade Beef Stew Recipe
- 3 lbs. of stewing beef or chuck roast – cut into bite sizes
- 2 whole onions – rough chop
- 3 carrots – rough chop
- 4 potatoes – cubed
- 3 stalks of celery – rough chop
- 2 cups of stock – plus water as needed
- Olive oil
- Garlic chopped
- 1 tsp each of thyme and rosemary
- 1 Bay leaf
- Salt and pepper
- 1/3 cup tomato sauce
- 1- 1.5 cups of wine
- Heat your stewing pot to medium and add in the olive oil, garlic and onions. While that’s cooking, take your beef; salt and pepper it on both sides. Let the onions become transparent and start adding in the beef. You want to sear the beef on all sides before you start adding in the rest of the vegetables.
- After searing the beef, next add in the carrots, potatoes, celery and stock. Your stock should cover all of the ingredients in the pot. If you need to add some additional liquid add water or wine. Cover the pot and allow this mixture to come to a boil. Once you get the pot to boil, add in the tomato sauce or paste.
- Taste the mixture and season to your taste. Sometimes an additional pinch of this or that gets your dish flavored just right. If it’s perfect, allow the pot to simmer until you are ready to serve.
I like it served in a soup bowl alone with toasted bread. This dish works with a wild rice or even a pasta. Serve it with a crisp green salad and glass of wine and you have complete meal.