Robyn's Hearty Homemade Beef Stew

Homemade beef stew is perfect for those cold days. We are into autumn now and the first really chilly days have started. This means it is time for comfort foods. A rich and hearty beef stew is always good on cool days to warm us up and it kind of feels like a big hug.

I never buy “stew meat” labeled as such when I make beef stew. I find that the pieces are inconsistently sized and often really fatty. Instead I look for various roasts or other cuts that I can cut into bite size pieces myself. I found a package of petite tenders on sale and so that’s what I used today. The petite tender is a newer name of a beef cut and it is actually a part of the chuck shoulder clod. Cut the meat into bite size pieces, season with salt and pepper and then sprinkle the flour over it and toss it around.

Cut beef into cubes for the stew | Robyns.World

Heat up a Dutch oven on medium-high and add about 1 tablespoon of oil, I used olive oil, you can use vegetable oil or whatever you prefer. Brown the meat in 2 batches. This allows for the best browning on all sides. Remove the browned pieces and set aside.

Season the cubed stew meat and dust with flour | Robyns.World

Chop a medium yellow onion and add to the pot. If you need a tad more oil, go head and add it. Now add some roughly chopped garlic. Saute the onions and garlic a few minutes.

Saute onions and garlic for beef stew | Robyns.World

I love using red wine when I cook with beef. It adds a depth to the dish I think. This time I used a semi-dry red wine, Mark Twain Reserve, from the Cave Hollow Winery in Missouri. If you are not a wine person you can use all beef stock if you prefer but you might want to add at least a splash or too of red wine vinegar to get some of that acid. While the heat is still high, add 1/2 cup of red wine to deglaze the pan. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up all those tasty bits, called fond, that are stuck to the bottom of the pot, they are packed full of flavor!

Mark Twain Reserve, semi-dry red wine | Robyns.World

Lower the heat to medium and add the beef back into the pot and give it a good stir. Let it sit there and get all yummy while you get your veggies ready.

deglaze the pan with red wine for the beef stew | Robyns.World

You can use any potato you like or that you have on hand. I had these Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes and used about 1 pound of them, cut into quarters. If you are using larger potatoes you will obviously need to cut them up a bit more. Toss those into the pot and give it another good stir.

Quarter potatoes for the beef stew | Robyns.World

Next up are the carrots. I adore carrots, they add a nice subtle sweetness to the dish and when you cook for a long time they get all nice and soft. Cut into coins and toss them in the pot and give it a stir.

Slice carrots into coins for the beef stew | Robyns.World

Mushrooms are another favorite of mine, Hubby can take them or leave them though so I don’t use a ton of them. About 4 ounces of Baby Bellas is what I used today, cut into quarters. Toss those into the pot and stir again.

Quarter the mushrooms for the beef stew | Robyns.World

While some folks like actual pieces of tomato in stew, I’m not one of them. However, I do like the richness it can add to the stew so I use tomato paste. I adore Amore Tomato Paste, which I call “space paste” because it comes in a tube like some of the astronaut food used to back in the day.

I love Amore brand Tomato Paste which comes in convenient tubes | Robyns.World

Make a little hole in the ingredients in the pot and add the tomato paste and let it cook a minute or two and then stir it all together with the rest of the ingredients.

Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute and then stir into beef stew | Robyns.World

Add 3 cups of beef broth and another cup of wine. Raise the heat back up and bring to a boil. Add in 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce and 1-2 bay leaves also. Once it has come to a boil give it another good stir, lower the heat to medium-low, cover and let it simmer for 2 hours.

Add the beef stock and remaining wine to the beef stew and let simmer for 2 hours | Robyns.World

Now uncover and simmer for another hour or so. This will let the stew thicken up some. If you still want it thicker after that hour mix about 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in cold water to make a slurry and then stir it into the stew. Bring it up to a boil again to get the thickening to happen. Then reduce heat to low until ready to eat or serve right away.

Normally I would actually add some frozen peas right at the last 10 minutes or so of cooking but sadly I didn’t have any on hand. Serve with some warm crusty bread to sop up all of the gravy in your bowl too. I love serving foods like this in my grandma’s china – it just calls out for comfort food like this.

Are you a beef stew fan? What types of ingredients do you like in your stew?

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Robyn's Hearty Homemade Beef Stew

Hearty Beef Stew

Meal type Main Dish
Website Robyns.World

Ingredients

  • 1.5lb beef, cut into cubes
  • 1 teaspoon sakt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 Medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1.5 cups dry red wine, divided
  • 1lb potatoes, skin on, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 4 Large carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
  • 4oz mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Directions

Season cubed beef with salt and pepper. Sprinkle flour over the seasoned meat and toss to coat. Shake off excess flour. Heat 1/2 of the oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add half of the beef and brown on all sides. Remove. Add more oil, if needed, and add remaining oil and beef to the pot and brown. Remove meat and set aside.

In the same pot add the onion and garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the wine to deglaze the pot. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot and loosen all those stuck on bits. Let cook for about 3 minutes. Lower heat to medium.

Add browned beef back into pot and stir. Add cut potatoes. Stir. Add carrots. Stir. Add mushrooms stir.

Move ingredients over a bit to make a small area on the bottom of the pot and add the tomato paste there. Stir a bit and cook for about 1 minute. Then stir everything back together.

Add 3 cups of beef broth and remaining 1 cup of wine. Add Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Raise heat to medium-high again and bring to a boil. Stir well. Lower heat back to medium-low, cover, and cook for 2 hours.

Remove cover and continue to simmer for another hour. If at the end of the hour you would still like the stew a bit thicker, mix the cornstarch with a bit of cold water to make a slurry and stir into the stew. Raise the heat up to bring it to a quick boil and stir. Once thickened, lower heat to low until you are ready to eat or serve immediately.