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Beef stew is a popular dish that can be traced back to the Middle Ages. The first recorded recipe for beef stew was in the 13th century cookbook, Liber de Coquina. This cookbook contained recipes from all over Europe, including England, France, and Italy. The recipe for beef stew in Liber de Coquina was a simple dish of beef, onions, and garlic cooked in water.
Over the centuries, beef stew recipes evolved to include a variety of different ingredients. In England, recipes for beef stew often included ale or beer, and sometimes included a pastry crust. In France, beef stew recipes typically included wine, and sometimes also included mushrooms and carrots. Italian beef stew recipes might include tomatoes, olives, and other Mediterranean ingredients.
Today, there are countless variations on the beef stew recipe. Whether you prefer a traditional beef stew with simple ingredients, or a more modern version with a variety of add-ins, there’s a beef stew recipe out there for everyone.
When making beef stew, it's important to use the right ingredients and techniques to ensure a satisfying outcome. Start by browning the beef in a large pot over medium-high heat. Don't overcrowd the pot as this will cause the beef to steam rather than brown. Once the beef is browned, add the vegetables and cook for a few minutes until they become tender. Next, add the broth, spices and herbs of your choice, and bring the stew to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and let it simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally. Finally, add the potatoes and let the stew simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Serve with warm crusty bread and enjoy!
You should not put any dairy products like milk, cheese, or cream into beef stew as they may curdle when cooked. Additionally, you should not put any starches like rice, noodles, or potatoes into beef stew as they will become soggy.
Tomato paste adds a rich, deep flavor and color to beef stew. It also helps to thicken the stew and create a more robust flavor. Tomato paste also helps to tenderize the beef in the stew and adds a nice balance of sweetness and acidity.
The secret to good stew is to build flavor by browning the meat, adding aromatics like onions and garlic, and deglazing the pan with wine or stock. Use a combination of fresh and dried herbs and spices like paprika, thyme, and bay leaf, and let the stew simmer until the meat is tender and the flavors have melded together.
Beef stew is best when the meat is cooked in a rich and flavorful broth. Adding onions, carrots, celery, garlic, herbs, and spices will enhance the flavor. A splash of wine or Worcestershire sauce also adds a nice depth of flavor. Another great addition is a small amount of tomato paste for added umami. Lastly, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste will help balance out all the flavors.
The liquid used for beef stew typically consists of beef stock, red wine, and/or beer. Water can also be used, but it will not add as much flavor as the other liquids.
Common ingredients used in stew include diced vegetables such as potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, and garlic; meat (usually beef, pork, lamb, or poultry); liquid such as stock, broth, wine, or beer; herbs and spices like thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, pepper, paprika, and parsley; and a thickener such as flour or cornstarch.
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