For me, the aroma of beef stew simmering on the stove brings memories of family dinners together and special birthday meals. When I was asked what I wanted for my birthday dinner, I always requested beef stew.
One summer when my sister and I spent the week at my grandmother’s home, she let us each choose whatever we wanted for dinner one night. I, of course, requested my grandmother’s beef stew.
She still likes to remind me of how she spent a sweltering summer afternoon sweating over a hot stove to make it for me. I still remember how good it tasted!
So, I decided to conjure up this favorite for myself for my birthday dinner. It is such a comfort food for me. Just the smell wafting up from the kitchen made me smile and feel happy. I can picture us eating outside on the picnic table that hot summer day, with the steam curling up from her blue and white dishes.
I only wish I had her company to make the meal complete! I hope you enjoy it as much as I always have.
(Note: In the picture above, I show the beef stew made with sweet potatoes. I substituted them due to my food allergy.)
- 1 ½ lbs. chuck, cut into 1 inch cubes
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1-2 Tablespoons Canola or vegetable oil
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2 cups chicken or beef broth
- 2 cups water (optional)
- ½ Tablespoon Worcester sauce
- 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled or minced
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Pinch of ground cloves
- 2 cups golden or red potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 carrots peeled and cubed
- 1 cup cut green beans
- Lightly coat beef cubes in flour. I rolled them in the flour on a plate. You can also put flour in a bag and then shake the meat in the bag to coat.
- Heat butter and 1 Tablespoon oil on medium high, in large pot or Dutch Oven.
- Add meat to pot and brown on each side, then remove from pot.
- Add onion and garlic to pot, along with another Tablespoon oil, if needed. Sautee onions until wilted.
- Add boiling water to deglaze pot, stirring up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add broth and bring to a boil, add vegetables and then reduce to medium high.
- Add in Worcester sauce and spices, simmer gently for an hour, stirring occasionally.
- Add extra water if needed. If you like a thicker stew, remove some of the liquid or add a couple tablespoons of cornstarch.
- If you are using a softer type of potato, such as Russet, or sweet potato, do not add them until the last half hour of cooking so they stay firm.
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