The word stew conjures up visions of friends and family gathered around the table on a chilly day enjoying each other’s company as they dip into bowls of thick broth with chunks of meat and vegetables cooked to perfection.
- 2 lbs. chuck roast, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 lb. cremini mushrooms, cut into quarters (optional)
- 5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch rounds
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- ½ tsp. pepper
- ½ cup red wine, beer, cider (optional)
- 6 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 and ½ cups red potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 3 Tbsp. flour, for thickening if desired
- In a large dutch oven or soup pot, over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons oil.
- Add the beef in a single layer and don’t overcrowd. You may need to do this in batches. Cook the pieces turning to brown on all sides. Transfer to a plate and continue until all of the meat has been seared.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pot.
- Add the onion. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. If including mushrooms, add them now and cook until they have released their liquid.
- Add the carrots and celery. Cook until they are soft on the outside, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and garlic, cook until the garlic is fragrant and the paste has darkened, about 3 minutes.
- Add the salt, pepper, and thyme stir to combine with the vegetables.
- Add ½ cup red wine if using or ½ cup beef broth stirring to loosen the bits (aka fond) on the bottom of the pan.
- Return the meat to the pot. Add enough broth to cover the meat by 1/2-inch. Add the bay leaves.
- Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to low and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Add the potatoes and continue to cook for another 30 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf, stir in the peas and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes.
- If you would like to thicken the broth, place the flour in a medium bowl and add 1 cup of broth from the stew. Whisk until they are completely combined. Pour the flour slurry back into the stew slowly while stirring. Continue stirring until the stew and thickened.
- If thickening the stew with the flour slurry, add the peas after it has thickened.