As with any beef and potato stew recipe, this one has two things going for it: It's easy on the budget and it makes great comfort food.
Basics of Beef Stew
When it is cold out side, nothing spells comfort like a good hot stew. Other beef recipes might call for very expensive cuts of meat but because stewing is a slow cooking method, it actually needs a cheaper cut of beef. What you want to be looking for when you go to the store or the butchers is a beef chuck shoulder roast. As the name implies, this cut comes from the shoulder of the cow and so it get a pretty good workout every day. This makes the meat both somewhat tough and very flavorful.
Tender cuts of meat do not need to be cooked a very long time. A filet mignon only gets cooked for a few minutes, but the beef chuck needs to be cooked for a long time in order to make it tender. Fortunately, this long slow cooking method also brings out the best flavor of the meat so you end up with a very tasty and tender dinner.
Stews become rich from the flour added to the sauce. But when you add potatoes to your dinner making it a beef and potato stew recipe, the starch from the potato makes the sauce thicker. One thing to pay attention to is the salt level. Potatoes have a tendency to absorb salt, which is good because salt makes potatoes taste good, but you may have to add more salt to your beef and potato stew recipe before serving.
Some stew recipes ask you to coat the meat with flour before searing it. I find that adding the flour to the pot after the meat has been seared to be more effective for thickening.
Beef and Potato Stew
- 1 pound beef chuck shoulder roast cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 small can of tomato paste
- 2 cups beef stock (more may be needed)
- 1 stalk celery, rough-cut
- 1 carrot, rough-cut
- 1 cup of pearl onions, peeled (you can use frozen pearl onions if you like)
- 1 small can of diced tomatoes
- 1 cup of frozen peas
- 1 pound new potatoes, small, quartered
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ teaspoon of thyme
- ¼ teaspoon of dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon basil
- Salt and pepper
Instructions for Making Beef and Potato Stew
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In a Dutch oven or oven safe pot heat the oil over a medium high flame.
- Liberally season the meat with the salt and pepper.
- Add the meat to the pot and brown on all sides.
- It's best not to crowd the meat so you may have to brown in two batches.
- Add the diced onion and cook until the onion is lightly browned.
- Add the garlic to the pot and cook for another minute.
- Add the flour to the pot and stir to make a roux.
- Cook until the roux is slightly browned.
- Add the tomato puree and the beef stock and bring to a boil.
- Stir until the sauce thickens.
- Add the celery, carrot, pearl onions, and the can of diced tomatoes, peas, potatoes, bay leaf, thyme, oregano, and basil.
- You may need to add more beef stock since you want the liquid to cover the ingredients by at least an inch. If you do not have more beef stock, adding water is ok.
- Stir to incorporate all ingredients.
- Cover the pot and place in your oven.
- Cook for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
- Remove from oven and if needed skim the fat off the surface of the stew.
This recipe serves four.