Monday, December 14, 2009

Homemade Southern Beef Stew

A savory southern-style beef stew, made from chunks of seasoned chuck roast, a mixture of beef stock and water, loads of herbs, potatoes, celery and carrots, rich and loaded with flavor.
A savory southern-style beef stew, made from chunks of seasoned chuck roast, a mixture of beef stock and water, loads of herbs, potatoes, celery and carrots, rich and loaded with flavor.

Homemade Southern Beef Stew

Like creamy butter beans, Homemade Southern Beef Stew is another one of those belly warmin', budget stretchin' meals that's pretty popular this time of year. The weather this weekend was absolutely perfect for it too.

This is an old standby beef stew recipe that I've used since the late 70s and have made very few changes to the basic recipe since then. It's a wonderfully savory stew, with loads of herbs (use fresh if you have them), rich and just full of flavor.

Here's how to make it.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium high heat in a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed soup pot. Cut the meat into chunks about 1-inch in size and pat dry well with paper towels. Whisk together flour, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and toss the beef in batches, lightly coating with the flour mixture.


Shake off excess flour, add to pot in batches and brown. Remove the meat and set aside; continue cooking the beef in batches until all of it is browned, adding more oil as needed. Take care not to overcrowd the pot or the meat will steam more than sear, so better to brown the meat in batches.


Add sliced onion and celery to the pot drippings and cook until lightly caramelized. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add a few tablespoons of the beef stock/broth to the pot to deglaze the pot, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom. My favorite packaged stock is Kitchen Basics. It's far richer than most commercial broth and there are a number of varieties available now.


Add remaining beef broth, water and beef base; bring to a boil.


While it is optional, I also love using Better than Bouillon in this stew and in my beef soups. It's a pantry staple for me. Look how rich it is. You can't get that from bouillon cubes.


Return the seared beef to the pot, add thyme, rosemary, celery seed, basil, paprika and Cajun seasoning.


Reduce to a low simmer, add bay leaves and simmer uncovered for about 2 hours.


Add the potatoes and carrots, bring back up to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook an additional 15 minutes; taste and adjust seasonings as needed. You can also use a variety of potatoes of course - I most often find myself using either peeled russets or unpeeled red potatoes, because those are the ones I usually have on hand.


Thickening the stew further is optional but I usually do. I wrote the recipe using a cornstarch slurry since most folks have cornstarch in their kitchens, but I love using Wondra, which is a pantry staple for me. It's perfect for thickening and unlike flour or cornstarch, you can sprinkle it right in whatever you're cooking. Whisk in the slurry or the Wondra, stirring until blended. Cook another 5 to 10 minutes or until the vegetables are completely fork tender and stew has thickened.


Dig in!


For more of my favorite stew recipes, visit my page on Pinterest!


If you make this or any of my recipes, I'd love to see your results! Just snap a photo and hashtag it #DeepSouthDish on social media or tag me @deepsouthdish on Instagram!





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Recipe: Homemade Southern Beef Stew

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 2 hours 30 min
Total time: 2 hours 40 min
Yield: About 4 to 6 servings


Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons cooking oil or bacon drippings, divided
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 pound chuck roast, cut into chunks
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 rib chopped celery
  • 2 toes of garlic, minced
  • 2 (32 ounce) cartons of beef stock or broth
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of Better than Bouillon beef base, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4-5 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • Hot, steamed rice
Instructions

Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium high heat in a large (6 quart or larger) Dutch oven or heavy bottomed soup pot. Cut the meat into chunks about 1-inch in size and pat dry well with paper towels. Whisk together flour, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and toss the beef in batches, lightly coating with the flour mixture. Shake off excess flour, add to pot in batches and brown. Remove the meat and set aside; continue cooking the beef in batches until all of it is browned, adding more oil as needed.

Add sliced onion to the pot drippings and cook until lightly caramelized. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add a few tablespoons of the beef stock to the pot to deglaze the pot, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom. Add remaining beef broth, water and beef base; bring to a boil. Return the seared beef to the pot, add thyme, rosemary, celery seed, basil, paprika and Cajun seasoning. Reduce to a low simmer, add bay leaves and simmer uncovered for about 2 hours; do not allow to boil.

Add the carrots and potatoes, bring back up to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook an additional 15 minutes; taste and adjust seasonings as needed. In a 2 cup measure, whisk together 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 1/4 cup of milk until blended. Slowly add to stew, stirring until blended. Cook another 5 to 10 minutes or until the vegetables are completely fork tender and stew has thickened. Serve over hot rice with hot buttered biscuits, cornbread or homemade yeast rolls.

Cook's Notes: Don’t crowd the meat during browning or it will end up steaming instead of searing. Can also substitute about 5 medium sized red potatoes, unpeeled and cut into chunks. Cooking time at the end will depend on what variety of potato and size of the carrots you are using, so you may need to give the carrots a slight head start. Take care not to overcook the potatoes; you want them cooked through, but still slightly firm and not mushy.

Instant Pot: Using saute function, prepare meat, onion, celery and garlic as above in batches. To avoid the "hot" warning on the IP, you can do the meat portion on the stovetop, or deglaze the pot, turn it off and let it cool before proceeding with the veggies. Deglaze pot with a big splash of broth and scrape up browned bits from bottom. Add seasonings and beef broth, reducing to 1 quart, omitting water. Return meat to pot, seal and set for 15 minutes. Let pressure release naturally 10 minutes, then quick release. Top with carrots and potatoes, reseal and set for 5 minutes. Let pressure release naturally 10 minutes, then quick release. To thicken, unseal pot, set to saute, stir together 3 tablespoons water or milk and 2 tablespoons cornstarch and stir into pot. Let boil for 2 minutes, then turn off pot.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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Posted by on December 14, 2009

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