Growing up, my Mother used to make this Hearty Beef Stew quite often. At the time…I disliked…you could even say hated cooked vegetables…well…except for green beans. I remember her so graciously fixing my bowl just before she finished, with just the rich broth, beef and green beans…she is the greatest Momma on earth. Jump forward a few decades and the only kind of vegetables I just cannot eat are peas. Why you may ask…because the same fabulous Mother used to make this concoction of creamed peas over toast…and my Dad (let’s just call him Joan Crawford at the time) used to make us sit there and finish our plates at the table…wtf? I have since forgiven them both…haha…and rest assured, you will never…ever…never find a recipe on my website for Creamed Peas over Toast! Oh and btw…I do put peas in this stew…just like the flavor the juice lends to the stew…but I also grab my bowl before those “uglies” go into the pot! Ha!
This is definitely an easy recipe, but will take about two hours to prepare. This makes a huge pot of stew…you can either cut the recipe in half or freeze for later…well…that’s if there is any left! The key is to get the meat so tender, that it basically melts in your mouth…follow my steps and you will be successful!
To prepare the meat, remove from package and cut into equal-sized pieces. I also like to trim any hard “fat.” Heat up the oil in a heavy-bottom pot. Need one? Click here for one similar to the one I used. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, black pepper and garlic powder. Be quite generous with the salt…this is a lot of meat, and later when you add the potatoes…they will need salt. Lightly coat the meat with the flour mixture. Add to pot and allow to brown on all sides. Brown really well without burning. There is a ton of flavor in the browning process.
When the meat is almost completely browned…add the shallots. Yes, you can use onion if you like…I am just not a huge fan of big pieces of onion in my soups. Allow to brown just a few more minutes.
Turn up the heat. Pour in the beef stock. Scrape the bottom to release all of those yummy brown bits. Add in the celery stalks…and yes…if you like pieces of celery in your soup…dice and throw in…I just like the flavor the celery provides and remove later. Toss in the bay leaves, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat. Place lid and allow the meat to simmer for at least 45 minutes to an hour. Stir a few times just to ensure nothing is sticking to the bottom. Add in the carrots and potatoes. Season again with kosher salt and black pepper. Allow to simmer until the potatoes and carrots are softened…be careful not to cook the vegetables too much…you want them to have a bit of substance. This will take about 15 to 20 minutes to achieve.
Remove the celery stalks and bay leaves. You will probably need to thicken the stew a bit at this point. Create a slurry with the cornstarch and beef stock. Turn up the heat and slowly, with a slotted spoon, incorporate the slurry. You want a thickness just under a gravy. Reduce heat back to medium. Add in your peas, green beans and corn. I typically drain about half the liquid from each can prior to placing in pot. Can you use frozen vegetables…yes you can…I just do not like the texture of frozen vegetables in my stew. Add in a few tablespoons of the fresh parsley. Stir and allow the vegetables to warm up…this will only take a few minutes. Taste for salt.
Grab a few big bowls from the pantry and serve with big chunks of fresh bread and ENJOY!