When you make this savory beef stew make sure you have lots of crusty oven broiled bread for soaking up the juices. You won't want to miss a drop!
What sets this recipe apart from others is the flavor-enhancing step of seasoning the beef before cooking. It builds a flavor base that continues to enhance the cooking of the vegetables in a way that just tossing spices into a soup can't touch. As a matter of fact, adding the broth will be one of the final steps in the cooking process.
Spices you'll need:
1 teaspoon of each:
Kosher salt or sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Dried crushed rosemary
2 bay leaves
Knorr beef stock
You will also need:
2 small onions
3 celery stalks
2 garlic cloves (not pictured- oops!)
Small yukon gold potatoess
2-3 pounds of stew meat
This is one of the major flavor steps. First add your seasonings to your stew meat and let this sit while you chop and prepare your veggies.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then add one teaspoon of rosemary, thyme, marjoram, and paprika.
Meanwhile, prepare your veggies. I just scrub the carrots and potatoes and leave the peel on them. Use 1-2 potatoes per person. I like using the whole potatoes in case I need to freeze leftovers. ( Potatoes don't freeze well, so if I need to freeze any stew all I have to do is remove them and voila!)
I like to have all of the ingredients prepared ahead of time because once you start cooking the process goes pretty fast.
You will also want to prepare your stock. I had 6-7 cups of hot water and 2 packets of the Knorr beef stock. Taste your stock- if you like you can add another packet.
Add one to two tablespoons of olive oil to your stock pot and heat over medium heat. You will want to brown your meat in small batches to ensure even browning.
I had 3 small batches and once the meat was browned I just set it aside in a bowl off to the side. If you dump all of the meat in at once you will over crowd the little pieces of meat and it will become juicy rather than brown properly.
Once your stew meat is browned add all of the veggies. The herbs from the bottom of the pot in the olive oil will help season these and give them an amazing flavor. You'll want to stir these the whole time to keep the onions and garlic from browning. You just want to blend the flavors and soften them up a little bit. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
Then add the stew meat back into the pot and stir to mix. Add 2-3 tablespoons of tomato paste and toss to coat. Then add one tablespoon of worcestershire sauce.
At this point you can go ahead and pour your stock into the pot and stir to blend.
Add 2 bay leaves and simmer on low for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
This recipe can be served immediately after your vegetables are tender. I made mine stew early in the day so I let it cool and refrigerated until it was dinner time. I just reheated on the stove while I prepare some oven broiled ciabatta bread to go along with the soup.
Life on the lake is laid back. When we cook it's far from being fancy affair. It's all about relaxing with friends and family and enjoying comfort food. More often than not it's not all that healthy but boy it sure is good!!!