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Recipe of the Week: Beef Stew

Posted by on Oct. 27, 2013 at 12:15 PM
  • 9 Replies


Stewing meat has been a method of cooking that is older than almost any other. From the moment man made his first fire, almost immediately thereafter he began slow cooking meat over a low flame for long periods of time.

In the 14th century, a French epicure, mentions beef stew for the first time in modern history in a recipe for a braised dish called a ragout, where the main ingredient is beef. Hundreds of beef stews have appeared since then, all over the world.

The two prerequisites for a dish to be considered beef stew is that it have beef as it's main component, and that it is cooked over a direct flame in a pot with a liquid base. Geography, recipe, and tradition make up the rest. An American stew of beef will usually use a cut of meat that's less tender. Vegetables and water (or stock) will be added and it will simmer for hours until the beef is tender and cooked through. Geography plays a big part in making the beef stews different from region to region. Making stew is a practice in patience. It is common knowledge that if you give a stew more time, it will just keep getting better. Stews were born out of the working class kitchen. Nowadays, you'll find them on the menus of very expensive restaurants, but their origins are humble. That is why these dishes are always better with cheaper, tougher cuts of beef. While full of flavor, the tough cuts of beef do not do well over high heat for short amounts of time. Simmered slowly over low heat, however, the beef will break down and become easy to chew, while still maintaining it's flavor.


How do you make your beef stew? On top of the stove, in the oven, or in a crock pot? Do you brown your meat before adding it? Do you flour it first? What vegetables do you use? What kind of liquid? What seasonings? What do you serve with it? Please share your recipe or method.

by on Oct. 27, 2013 at 12:15 PM
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by Luci on Oct. 27, 2013 at 12:17 PM

 This is a recipe I've been using a long time. Basic, but delicious.


Beef Stew

2 pounds stew beef

4 Tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 or 2 bay leaves
1 medium onion, large chop
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3 large carrots, large chop
3 potatoes, large chop
2 ribs celery, large chop

Coat beef in flour. Brown meat in hot oil. Add beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaves, onion, salt, sugar, pepper, paprika. Cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours. Remove bay leaves and garlic clove. Add carrots, potatoes and celery. Cover and cook 30 to 40 minutes longer. To thicken gravy, remove 2 cups hot liquid. Using a separate bowl, combine 1/4 cup water and cornstarch until smooth. Mix in a little hot broth from the pot and return mixture to pot. Stir and cook until bubbly.

Notes: if there's something here that you don't like or don't have on hand, you can omit it; it's a pretty forgiving recipe. No beef broth? You can also use water and bouillon cubes or tomato juice or crushed tomatoes if you like it more tomatoey than beefy.

by Luci on Oct. 27, 2013 at 12:21 PM

 This is my son's recipe. It easy and really good.


Crock Pot Beef Stew

2 lbs. of Beef Chuck cut into cubes.

1 lb. of Chopped Carrots (Cut into large pieces)

1 lb. of Potatoes (Peeled and cut into large pieces)

1 Large Onion (Peeled and cut into large pieces)

1 to 2 Tablespoons Beef Base or bouillon (I use a soup base that I get from Publix called “Better than Bouillon”.)

Place all of the beef, onions, carrots, potatoes, and any other vegetables that you may want to add (Like mushrooms, peas, or celery. It all depends on what you like.).

Cover with water and add about half a Tablespoon of the Beef Base.

Cook in the crock pot on low for about 8 to 10 hours while you are at work.

When you get home from work, your house will smell like beef stew. That’s how you know its ready.

You can add more of the Beef Base if you wish, and season to taste.

Thicken the stew with cornstarch mixed with water (remember, a little goes a long way).

Enjoy your stew.

by on Oct. 27, 2013 at 1:44 PM

It really depends on the type of stew and the meat. If it's going in the crock-pot, I usually have the vegetables & seasoning going so they are not cold when I add hot meat. The reason for flour and/or searing the meat especially for the crock-pot is to keep it from getting stringy. The flour never thickens the liquid after it's been browned on the meat.

Vegetables? I never put peas in it. Soups with smaller ingredients - yes. For the stock part, onions, celery, & chopped carrots. My family will only eat potatoes & carrots - why waste money putting other stuff in their beef stew. Water, S&P, Bay Leaf.

I usually serve traditional beef stew with a side of roasted butternut squash and country kernel corn or corn on th cob. Crackers are more a favorite but flat bread is good too. Cherry pie or cobbler for dessert.

I only make the traditional beef stew if it's on the meal plan. Otherwise, it's a stew prepared from leftovers like white chicken chili bean stew - oh! how I love leftover stew.


by on Oct. 27, 2013 at 2:04 PM

this sounds really good im going to try to make it and see how it turns out . ill let you know 

by on Oct. 28, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Here is the recipe I it from my stepmom.  It is the best beef stew in the world!  I could eat it every day.  :)


2 Lbs. Sirloin Tips, cubed
1/3 Cup Flour
1 Tsp. Season Salt
1/4 Tsp. Pepper
4 Tbs. Shortening
1 Can Beef Broth
2 Cups Water
1 Tbs. Lemon Juice
1 Tbs. Worcestershire Sauce
2 Large Onions
Bay Leaves
1/4 Tsp. Allspice
1/2 Bag Baby Carrots
1 Bunch Celery
4 Medium Potatoes
Season Salt to taste
1. Mix flour, 1 tsp. season salt and pepper in large plastic bag.  Add beef to bag and shake until coated.
2. Melt shortening in large pot.  Add beef and brown.
3. Add beef broth and water to pot.   Chop one onion and add to pot along with lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, bay leaves and allspice.  Add a few shakes of season salt.
4. Cover and simmer for 2 hours.
5. Chop carrots, celery and the remaining onion.  Peel and cube the potatoes.   Add all veggies to pot.
6. Cover and simmer an additional 1-2 hours or until veggies are soft.
by Ruby Member on Oct. 30, 2013 at 2:21 PM

 Looks so good....dh loves stew

by on Oct. 30, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Crockpot. I do flour and sear my meat first. No recipe-just potatoes,carrots,onions,celery and then seasonings and tomato juice,maybe a can of stewed tomatoes and a packet of brown gravy mix.

by on Oct. 30, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Mine...I buy stew meat from the store and usually cut it in half or something so it's a little smaller. This is my very loose recipe. My hubby is fairly particular so this is very basic but still flavorful. He hates celery so I actually only cut them in half or thirds so he doesn't accidently get any in his bowl. LOL

about 1 lb stew meat
1 stick butter
32oz broth
2 Celery Stalks
about 3/4 cup cut up carrots
3-4 medium potatoes, cubed
salt & pepper
seasonings to taste (seasoning salt, garlic powder, bay leaf, whatever)
Frozen corn or peas or other veggies

Melt the butter in the bottom of a large pot on medium heat. Cut up the stew meat, then dredge in flour and some seasonings. Then brown in the melted butter. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to brown on all sides. Meanwhile cut and cube the potatoes, carrots and celery. After the 15 minutes, add the broth and potatoes, carrots and celery. Salt and pepper and seasonings to taste. Turn down to low and let cook for 2-3 hours. About 20-30 minutes before serving add the frozen veggies.

by on Oct. 30, 2013 at 2:49 PM

I've also done a version where you brown the meat then throw everything into a roasting pan and put it in the oven for 2-3 hours.

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