There is nothing better on a cold winter night than to light a fire, open a bottle of a nice deep, dark red wine, slice up a warm loaf of crusty bread and dip into a hearty bowl of Savory Beef Stew.

A few words before you begin:

Start Early – although it is possible to overcook this stew, I’d count on at least 2 ½ hours to make sure that your beef gets to that ‘shredded stage’.  I’m using our own grass fed beef with not a lot of fat, so slow and low simmering works best for me.

The Right Pot – use a good old fashioned Dutch Oven or treat yourself to a Le Creuset Casserole.  Honestly, I got mine at a deep discount at Home Goods and it’s gotten more use than my car!

Herbs herbs and more herbs – fresh is best, but if you are cooking this in the deep dark days of winter and the garden is a memory, used dried.  I can’t stand to see folks waste their good $4 on a clamshell of half dead ‘fresh herbs’!

So, let’s lay out the ingredients.  Please note that I am not a professional so a ‘dash here’ and a ‘pinch there’ is as exacting as I can get!

Print Recipe
Savory Beef Stew
Just slice up a warm loaf of crusty bread and dip into a hearty bowl of this Savory Beef Stew.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Herbs
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Servings
people
Ingredients
  • 1.25 lbs Beef Good quality stew meat - again, we are using grass fed but it’s up to you. Just make sure you are getting a cut that is ‘made’ for stews. If you know the butcher, ask him to toss in a small stew bone for you. Once you are finished, your doggies will be happy to take the bone! 1 to 1 ½ pounds should do it.
  • 1 medium Leek I like to use leeks instead of onions, but either one is fine. Leeks just have a subtler flavor. 1 leek or onion, chopped.
  • 1 cup Carrots Chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic Chopped fine
  • 1 cup Mushrooms Coarsely chopped Baby Bella or Shitake
  • 1 cup Sweet Potatoes I’m sort of moving away from potatoes these days, and are a big fan of Sweet Potatoes. The ones we grow now are O’ Henrys and they have a nice white flesh that works just as well, if not better, than Yukon Golds. A cup of cubed - your choice!
  • 15 oz Tomatoes Depends on your taste. Sometimes I’ll add, and sometimes I won’t. In any event, use a 15 oz can of GREAT quality chopped tomatoes. Better yet, use your own! These should be added when you pour in the broth.
  • Herbs Honestly, almost any savory herb works in this stew. I’ve got a lot of dried concoctions from my fall harvest, and I’ll toss in my Herbs de Provence and add extra Bay and Thyme. Marjoram works … oregano. It’s really up to you and your palate but don’t be shy!
  • 2 cups Broth Top shelf organic beef, mushroom or vegetable broth. I usually use mushroom and one container will do. If you need more liquid, add a bit of water.
  • Salt & Pepper I do like salt and pepper, but that really is ‘to taste’. I’ve been using red peppercorns lately and really happy with the result.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Herbs
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Servings
people
Ingredients
  • 1.25 lbs Beef Good quality stew meat - again, we are using grass fed but it’s up to you. Just make sure you are getting a cut that is ‘made’ for stews. If you know the butcher, ask him to toss in a small stew bone for you. Once you are finished, your doggies will be happy to take the bone! 1 to 1 ½ pounds should do it.
  • 1 medium Leek I like to use leeks instead of onions, but either one is fine. Leeks just have a subtler flavor. 1 leek or onion, chopped.
  • 1 cup Carrots Chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic Chopped fine
  • 1 cup Mushrooms Coarsely chopped Baby Bella or Shitake
  • 1 cup Sweet Potatoes I’m sort of moving away from potatoes these days, and are a big fan of Sweet Potatoes. The ones we grow now are O’ Henrys and they have a nice white flesh that works just as well, if not better, than Yukon Golds. A cup of cubed - your choice!
  • 15 oz Tomatoes Depends on your taste. Sometimes I’ll add, and sometimes I won’t. In any event, use a 15 oz can of GREAT quality chopped tomatoes. Better yet, use your own! These should be added when you pour in the broth.
  • Herbs Honestly, almost any savory herb works in this stew. I’ve got a lot of dried concoctions from my fall harvest, and I’ll toss in my Herbs de Provence and add extra Bay and Thyme. Marjoram works … oregano. It’s really up to you and your palate but don’t be shy!
  • 2 cups Broth Top shelf organic beef, mushroom or vegetable broth. I usually use mushroom and one container will do. If you need more liquid, add a bit of water.
  • Salt & Pepper I do like salt and pepper, but that really is ‘to taste’. I’ve been using red peppercorns lately and really happy with the result.
Instructions
  1. Olive oil in the bottom of the pan heated to medium low and toss in the meat. A lot of recipes call for the meat to be tossed in flour, but that seems to ‘gum up the works’. Not a fan of white flour anyway. Just allow the meat to brown slowly. Stir around a bit.
  2. Once the pieces are nice and brown, toss in the garlic, leeks and carrots and potatoes and let them cook SLOWLY - low heat and a lot of stirring and patience.
  3. When they are nice and soft and aromatic, toss in the herbs. Ok, if you need measurements, let’s say a tablespoon of that and a tablespoon of this and then keep it on low heat and allow all those flavors to infuse. Slow and steady.
  4. Then pop in the mushrooms and cover the whole batch with the broth. At this point, it’s time to let this baby simmer. You’ll need to check from time to time, and cover and uncover. There will come a point where you are getting close to the finish line. Take a spoon and let the stew cool a bit.
  5. Taste and then decide on the salt and pepper. It’s at this point that I may decide on an additional ‘punch’ - maybe a bit of Worcestershire Sauce!
  6. After 2 hours, check the beef. If it’s easy to shred, you are near the finish line. Make sure that the broth has a nice, herbal infusion and it’s salted and peppered to your taste. I usually let it sit, unheated, for a bit and then slowly heat back up right before serving.
Recipe Notes

You can toss just about anything else into this stew, but I like to keep it clean and simple.  That way, the flavors of the herbs really stand out.

Enjoy!

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