Stewing beef was on sale and I decided to pick some up; so I googled what I could make with this cut of meat. The few options that popped out at me were kabobs, beef pot pie and beef stew. It was a coldish day so I said “beef stew it is”.
Stew, (My idea of a stew) has all the ingredients cooked in a liquid and is served in the reduced gravy. However, an Irish stew is the same method but has more broth which I have come to learn looks a lot like West Indian soup my mom used to make, except there are no dumplings or sweet potatoes.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour & 35 minutes
Difficulty level is: Easy
• 2 pounds (908g) of stewing beef
• 1 tsp season salt
• 1 tsp paprika
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
• 2 cups celery, chopped
• 5 cloves of garlic, minced
• 4 ¾ cups beef broth
• 2 tsp herbs de Provence
• 4 tbsp tomato paste
• 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
• 5 bay leaves
• 1 tsp sugar
• ½ tsp of salt
• ½ tsp of black pepper
• 1.5 lb (680g) mini red or yellow skinned potatoes, halved
• 3 large carrots, chopped
• 2 tbsp cornstarch
• 1 can peas
• Corn kernels from 4 ears of fresh corn
• 2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
1. Sprinkle season salt and paprika onto beef and place into a large pot turning until all sides are just cooked with 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Split the beef into two to ensure there is no overcrowding. Set aside.
2. Add onions, celery and garlic to same pot and add 2 tbsp olive oil and ¼ cup beef broth and cook. Stir vegetables until they begin to soften (about 5 minutes).
3. Put beef back to pot and add herbs de Provence, beef broth, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, bay leaves, sugar, salt & pepper and stir.
4. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat and simmer for 1 hour & 10 minutes.
5. Now stir in potatoes and carrots and cover and simmer for another 20 minutes and add cornstarch in equal amounts of water until smooth and then add to the pot until stew has thickened.
6. Add the peas and corn kernels in the last 5 minutes are and add parsley right before serving.
• A trick for cutting kernels fresh corn off the cob is to place the cob in the centre of a Bundt pan. This way the cob sits nicely in the middle of the pan and when you’re slicing downwards it will fall into the pan and create less mess. Please Note: Be careful please.
• Serve with biscuits homemade or Pillsbury.
• Freeze half a pot and save for a blustery winter’s day.
Mr. C said it was tasty and needed less parsley or more finely chopped. He loved the tenderness of the beef and the crunch of the carrots. He also said I wish it was “more or an Irish stew” says the Irish man, so I adjusted this recipe to finely chop the parsley and add more broth per the review. If you want a conventional stew subtract two cups of broth and 2 less tbsp. of tomato paste.
This is a labour of love. I have never cooked something that took this long besides a whole turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas. It turned out great for my first try making any type of soup and there were plenty of leftovers and I froze some also.
I served my stew with Pillsbury biscuits. You can also make your own if you have a favourite recipe. I will attempt to make my own next time as I didn’t want to take on too much my first time out with this recipe.