Few things are more satisfying on a cold winter evening than a warm, comfy bowl of beef stew. I love the way the aroma permeates the house, and even wafts outside to invite you in (and make all the neighbors jealous!). I usually save this one for weekends or days when I’m free in the afternoons since I like to let it cook an hour or two so the beef can get really tender and wonderful.
I’m always amazed that people buy beef stew in a can. It really tastes nasty compared to the real thing. It might be different if beef stew was hard to make, but seriously folks, you dump things in a pot and let it cook for an hour or two. You can do it! It’s soooo worth the tiny bit of effort.
I never measure anything when I make this so it does tend to vary a bit from time to time, but I’ve made it so many times that this has become the standard version in my house.
1-2 pounds stew meat or sirloin, cut into bite sized pieces
3 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 tbsp. butter
4 plum tomatoes
1 cup red wine
4 cups beef broth
1 onion, chopped
8 oz. mushrooms, quartered
4 red potatoes, 1/2″ dice
4-5 carrots, sliced
Combine flour, pepper, salt, paprika, rosemary and Italian seasoning in a large ziplock bag. Add beef to bag and shake up to coat all the pieces. In a Dutch oven, melt 1 tbsp. butter over medium-high heat. Add beef in batches (you want to leave a little space in between the pieces so they can brown instead of just steaming. Brown on both sides and remove from pan, then add another tablespoon of butter and more beef until it is all done.
Add onions and tomatoes to pan. Cook and stir one or two minutes. Add broth, wine and beef back to pan. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the little meat bits off. It adds color and flavor to the soup, plus the bits of flour will help to thicken the broth as it cooks. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Cook on low for 45 minutes.
Add potatoes, mushrooms and carrots. Cook another 45 minutes or more, until veggies are tender. Taste and add salt & pepper if needed. At this point you can eat or let it simmer until dinnertime.