Beef stew is very much a family recipe. Every time I make it, the smell transports me back to my childhood. I would sit in our kitchen as my mom cooked up a batch of stew. The entire house would smell of it. You would walk in the door and just know that stew was on the stove. If you don’t have a family recipe for beef stew, you can gladly borrow ours.
RECIPE: Beef Stew
Makes 4-6 Servings
Large Cast iron pot
Spatula or Spoon
2 lbs or so Beef
2 tablespoons Crisco
Dry Red Wine
3-4 Cloves of Garlic
2 Bay Leaves
1) Trim the beef and cut into cubes.
2) Begin browning the beef in the cast iron pan with the shortening.
3) Season with a shake of Worcester sauce and then give a heavy dosing of red wine.
4) Chop up the garlic and onion and add it to the beef, along with the bay leaves.
5) Add water and cover the pot, letting it simmer for a while.
6) Season with the salt, paprika, pepper, and cloves.
7) Add a hot water and let simmer for a while (covered).
8) Cut up the carrots and potatoes.
9) Add the carrots first, and then the potatoes a little while after.
10) Add a cup or so of tomato juice, and let it continue simmering. Be sure to stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
11) In a bowl, combine flour, water, and 1 egg to create a thick batter. You will want to use the fork to combine the ingredients.
12) Drop the batter by the fork full into the stew and then cover for 5-15 minutes (depending on the size of your dumplings) to let the dumplings steam and cook in the stew.
13) Give it another stir and then serve. The stew will freeze nicely, but the dumplings will not hold up to being frozen.
The beef in this stew ends up so tender that it falls apart in your mouth. The carrots and potatoes keep their shape in the bowl, but are perfectly cooked when you take a bite. The gravy of the stew really brings together all the flavors into a single harmonious meal.
The best part is the dumplings, which I simply can’t get enough of. They are made according to my Nana’s recipe, and my absolute favorite part of stew.
When it comes to stew, don’t try to get fancy ingredients. Stew was perfected by people on a budget, so get the meat that’s on sale and find the cheapest drinkable red wine at the store (this one was under 4 bucks). The results are better that way!