This is the beef stew that my mom always made when my brother and I were growing up. I’ve tried other recipes from time to time but I prefer this one to all of them. It does take some time start to finish but it is well worth it, especially on a cold day when you don’t mind the warmth from the stove.
Generously serves 4
1-2 T vegetable or canola oil
2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2″ cubes
4 cups water
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
3 stalks celery, chopped into 1″ pieces
6 carrots, cut in half and cut into 1 1/2″ lengths
1 T sugar
3-4 medium potatoes, quartered
1 t salt, divided
1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz), drained with juice reserved
1/2 t pepper
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T lemon juice
1. Trim any of the hard white fat from beef. Pat beef dry with paper towels and sprinkle with 1/2 t of salt.
2. Heat 1T oil in pan until shimmering. Add beef cubes to pot in single layer and brown on all sides. Be sure not to crowd the pan. You’ll probably have to do two or three batches depending on the size of your pot. Once browned, remove the cubes and put onto a plate or in a bowl. If the pan looks dry, add another tablespoon of oil before adding next batch of beef.
3. Once beef is browned and removed from pot, add juice from tomatoes. Scrape bottom of pan to remove the brown bits. Add 4 cups of water. Add beef and accumulated juices back into pot.
4. Add onion, garlic, sugar, remaining salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice.
5. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until the beef begins to get tender, stirring occasionally.
6. Add carrots, celery, potatoes and simmer for 20 minutes.
7. Add tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes.
8. Thicken stew: Put 2T of flour in a small bowl and slowly add 1/4 cup cold water to it while stirring to prevent lumps. Be sure the mixture is smooth and add to stew.
9. Stir until thickened and cook for 5 minutes.
10. Taste, adjust seasoning if needed.