I used to feel really, really intimidated by this recipe, mostly because it took so long to nail The Momma down to exact measurements (she’s been making it so long that it’s second-nature to her!). & the first time I attempted it, I left the heat up too high in a basic pot & it was…shall we say, DESTROYED. I can count on one hand the number of inedible meals I’ve made since our marriage began & my first attempt at beef stew hits #1 on that list. I’m so proud to conquer it because it is a staple of my childhood & an absolute favorite on cold nights. The leftovers are fantastic, too.
I make it in my cast iron dutch oven on the stove, which helps distribute the heat much more evenly so that I can walk away for the hour that it simmers. Key to the first time: WATCH YOUR HEAT. Watch your heat, watch your heat, watch your heat. Otherwise you’ll end up with beef charred to the bottom of your pot & gravy that’s more like glue paste.
1 lb stew meat
4 potatoes, skinned & cut into chunks
1 lb baby carrots
1 chopped onion
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 cups hot water
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp paprika
shake of garlic salt (I do three shakes)
dash of allspice or cloves
1Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- Coat bottom of pot with EVOO, heat until hot. Sear meat in the oil.
- Toss in 1/2 chopped onion & saute.
- Add 4 cups hot water. Boil & return to low setting on stove.
- Add sugar, salt, paprika, garlic salt, allspice, Worcestershire sauce, & stir.
- Cover & cook for an hour.
- After an hour, add carrots, potatoes, & remainder of the onion.
- Return to a boil, then cut heat back until it is barely boiling (like a little over mid-heat) for 30 minutes. Keep your eye on it to be sure it’s not burning on the bottom!
- In a separate bowl, whisk a few tablespoons of flour into hot water until thick but even (you don’t want little “dumplings” in the flour). Stir into the stew broth that’s in the pot right before serving.
This also freezes beautifully! I serve with a salad & drop biscuits. Enjoy!