Sunday, November 20, 2011

Classic Beef Stew

Stew... is a loose term. For some people, throwing a few extra chunks of potato into a soup turns it into stew. And then you have people who use that annoying term that Rachel Ray coined - "stoup." Seriously lady... it's bad enough that you can't be bothered to say the words "extra virgin olive oil" but c'mon... make a decision! It's either soup or it's stew... it can't be both. Amiright?

Me, I like my stew THICK. Like so thick it hardly has any broth left. So thick that it's basically meat and vegetables in super-thick, super-delicious gravy. That, to me, is stew.

And fewer flavors lend themselves better to a thick, hearty stew than beef. Beef stew is just... classic. Like apple pie and chocolate chip cookies, everyone needs a beef stew recipe! This one is about as classic as it gets... chunks of savory beef, generous pieces of potatoes and carrots, and thick beefy gravy. Serve it up with a buttery, flaky biscuit, and you've got the perfect cold weather meal.

Classic Beef Stew
a Learning Curve Original!
yields about 4 servings

2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
12 ounces beef stew meat
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 carrots, peeled  - half coarsely chopped and the other half cut into 1" pieces
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
one 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
3 cups prepared beef stock
1 bay leaf
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" pieces

1. Place the flour, salt, and pepper in a gallon zip-top bag and toss to combine. Dry the stew meat with paper towels. Add the stew meat to the bag and toss to coat evenly.
2. Heat the oil in the bottom of a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the stew meat to the hot oil and brown evenly on both sides (about 2 minutes per side). Add the onion, garlic, chopped carrot, celery, and a generous pinch of salt, and saute until the onions are translucent.
3. Crush the rosemary, oregano, and marjoram together with a mortar and pestle. Add these spices to pot and stir to combine. Add the tomatoes, juices included, and bring to a boil. Add the beef stock and the bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.
4. Add the potatoes and the large carrot pieces to the pot and bring to a boil. Boil, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the potatoes are tender and the stew is thick. Remove the bay leaf. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.


  1. Love beef stew. This sounds and looks so good.

  2. First things first - Stoup? Ugh! I can't even say the word without cringing...

    Now onto your soup... I was on the bus this morning day dreaming of beef stew - And though I like my beef stew with a tad more broth, this is just what I'm looking for. Can't wait to try this bad boy!


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