The only thing I like about Winter is comfort foods and having something to warm me from the inside. Despite living on the Mainland again for almost sixteen years, I’m still an island girl at heart longing for the days of terminal Summer again. There are so many variations of beef stew that it’s quite impossible to say which is the best, especially when you take into account all the different ethnic variations. Each lends its own distinct flavor profile to the palate. Some days I want a classic beef stew. Other days I want a Japanese Beef Stew. Then there are days where I want Grandma Cresing’s beef stew. No one makes it quite like Grandma Cresing.
I opt for a classic most of the time. Mostly because I was on a mission to perfect it to my tastes. So here we go. This stew can be made in a slow cooker or on the stove depending on how quickly you want it.
I do not add anything to thicken it. I opt to use the potatoes to thicken the stew naturally which is why some of it needs to be a small dice. They will break down faster than the larger pieces so your larger pieces are left to cook perfectly rather than come apart. The stew may not be perfectly thick when you dish it out, but the leftovers will.
Beef Stew – serves 4-6
1 pound stew meat (I use grass-fed beef)
1 onion, sliced into half-moons or chopped
3 garlic cloves, rough chop
2 medium Idaho potatoes, large dice except for half dice down into small dice, this will help it break down and thicken the stew.
5 medium carrots, sliced
1 tablespoon gluten-free Worcestershire sauce (I use Lea & Perrins)
1 teaspoon seasoning mix (recipe follows)
3 1/2 cup beef broth (I make my own)
2 bay leaves
salt & pepper
Season your beef with salt and pepper. Heat a pan (if using a slow cooker – if you have a Ninja cooking system, you can do it right in the Ninja) or large Dutch oven (or other large pot) over medium heat. Add olive oil and let it warm up. Add the seasoned beef and brown on all sides. If using a slow cooker, remove from the pan and add to the slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients to the slow cooker or Dutch oven and cover. If using a slow cooker, cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. If cooking on the stove bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to low and cook for 2 hours.
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon mace
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried savory
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Mix all together in a small bowl and transfer to an air tight container.
This post is linked to Gluten-Free Wednesdays at The Gluten-Free Homemaker