Beef stew is a staple. It's cozy and warm, stores well, and is easy to adjust for a huge crowd or just a few folks. You probably have your own excellent beef stew recipe already (if you don't, there's a great one here too), so here are just a few ways to make it even better!
"Photo from Once Upon a Chef"
Tips and Tricks
- Batch sear your meat. Give your beef a true sear on all sides prior to stewing. To do this, you can't overcrowd the pan. Overcrowding the pan can potentially become boiling the beef in its own juices. Searing the beef in batches so that it's truly dark brown will create a glaze at the bottom of the pan filled with all kinds of potent, delicious beef flavor that will make your beef stew taste much richer and fuller.
- Time the addition of your veggies properly. It might seem obvious, but different vegetables require different amounts of time to cook. You want to add your "delicate" veggies like peas, fresh herbs, and whatever else you may want to throw in toward the end of the cooking process, and your hardier vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and turnips toward the middle of the cooking process.
- Don't rush the process. Depending on what kind of meat you're using — tougher, inexpensive cuts of meat like Chuck are most common — it may take several hours for your meat to become the fall-apart deliciousness you want. That's okay! Low heat and lots of time are essential to creating the ideal textures and flavors. Raising the heat doesn't cook your stew faster, it just makes for tougher meat.
"Photo by America's Test Kitchen Feed"