Experimenting in the kitchen creates confidence and shows a level of understanding. That is, an understanding of spices, flavors, timings, and methods. I got a little bold yesterday and tried something that I think is easy enough to create. Since I am a huge fan of stews and soups, I have had plenty practice over the last few months of making them by recipe.
The results? I am biased but think that this is pretty darn good. Here is my best recollection of what I did last night on my on-the-fly cooking adventure. Let me know what you do on-the-fly or differently to beef stew as well!
- Cooking Oil/Fat (Canola/Vegetable or Duck Fat)
- 3 lbs Cubed Chuck or Stew Beef
- Flour, all purpose
- 1 Large Onion, your choice, sliced
- 6 Carrots, cleaned and cut into chunks
- 2-3 cloves minced garlic
- 3-4 sprigs Fresh Thyme
- 3 Bay Leaves
- 4 cups Beef Stock
- 1/2 Bottle Red Wine
- 2-3 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 2-3 tbsp Worcestershire
- Kosher Salt and Pepper
- 4 Russet Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-2 inch dice
- Pat beef dry with paper towels and place in paper bag, zip lock bag, or bowl. Add enough flour to coat, salt, and pepper. Shake or mix to evenly coat. Heat a dutch oven, large stock pot, or other vessel on medium to medium-high with cooking oil/fat
- Brown beef evenly and briefly, remove from pot adding more fat/oil as necessary
- Add onions and carrots to pot scraping the bottom where the beef has left some browning occasionally to incorporate the flavor into the onions. When the onions look semi-tender add garlic, thyme, and bay leaves. Stir and cook for about 2-3 minutes
- Add beef stock, and wine to cover with extra room keeping in mind that potatoes will be added later, tomato paste, Worcestershire, and salt/pepper. Cook uncovered on medium heat for 1 1/2 hours ensuring that the stew stays at slow simmer.
- Add Potatoes and set timer for 30-45 minutes checking tenderness with fork