This is all Mom…though sometimes she cooks hers exclusively in the oven (something I highly recommend if you’re having a crazy day!). The thing with stew is that it’s a lot like soup, here’s the outline, add to or take away from as needed, this is just how I happen to like it. If you would prefer the oven method, combine everything (raw beef, tossed in the flour, salt and pepper) in a large, oven-proof pot with a lid and cook at 300 for about 5 hours. If you’ve coated the beef in flour, it should come out of the oven with perfect gravy – worst case scenario is a bit of a simmer with no lid on the stove. Dumplings are up to you, but we all love them – enjoy!
2 lbs. stew meat, cubed
1/3 c. flour AND a couple generous pinches of kosher salt AND a good grinding of pepper
1 onion, cut into chunks AND 4 to 6 cloves of garlic, finely minced or sliced
~4 c. beef broth – you may need a bit of water or more broth if it’s not saucy enough before cooking the dumplings
2 fresh sprigs of rosemary
1 can (28 oz/798 mL) diced tomatoes – fire-roasted are awesome here
3 to 4 sticks EACH of celery AND carrot, cut into chunks
8 small (new) unpeeled potatoes – though I regularly use a 2 lb. bag of baby potatoes
1 1/2 c. flour AND 2 t. baking powder AND 1 t. salt
3 T. cold butter
3/4 c. milk
Toss the beef cubes in a large Ziploc with the flour, salt and pepper. In a large, oven-proof pot (with a cover), sauté the beef in batches in a bit of oil until the beef is no longer pink – there will be flour still left in the bag, this is normal. Remove the browned beef and reserve on a plate.
Add the chopped onion and garlic to the pot and sauté until all is softened, slowly add in 2 cups of broth and continue stirring until the mixture comes to a boil and maybe starts to thicken a bit (from the flour leftover from the beef). Add in the rosemary, tomatoes, celery, carrots, and potatoes and then add the beef back in, give everything a good stir and add more broth to barely cover everything.
Simmer (or put in the oven at about 300) for 3 to 5 hours – you can easily turn up the heat to move things along if you need to, but stir it regularly! It may not appear to be very thick as I mentioned above, but the dumplings assist with this.
For the dumplings – whisk together the 3 dry ingredients, cut in the butter as you would with pastry, then stir in the milk. When the stew is ready, taste for seasonings (though I generously season the beef and usually don’t need to add anything), get it gently simmering on the stove and drop the dumpling mixture in good-sized spoonfuls evenly across the top of it all. Leave them to cook for about 15 minutes and then put the lid on and simmer for another 15 minutes or so. Check them, you can’t really overcook them, but underdone dumplings wreck everything.
Serve as you would – we enjoy our ‘oven stew’ straight up in big bowls – and the leftovers are terrific!
- Category: Beef, Biscuits, One-pot Meal