I can’t think of any comfort food that is much better than a warm bowl of home made beefy stew on a cold and cloudy day.
Stew can be an easy to make dinner that doesn’t have to take the whole day to prepare or cook in a slow cooker to get great flavour. I am not always the greatest dinner planner so when the thought strikes me to make a dish like stew, I have an easy go to recipe that makes a fast but amazingly flavourful dish.
Start of course with your beef, there is nothing better than some great Alberta Beef. I like to go beyond the regular stewing beef because I really believe in the adage that you should cook with great ingredients for every dish. Tonight I chose a nice 21 day aged simmering steak. Cut the steak into a size that will be comfortable in your spoon when its time to eat. This portion of the cooking is what takes the longest as you need to sear each piece of beef so that each one is well caramelized on the outside. Make sure to keep your oil sizzling but not smoking as you are going to keep all of those crispy brown bits as the base of the stew. Be patient as this is where the great full brown flavour of your stew will come from.
Once all of your beef is nicely browned, keep all of those beautiful brown bits in your pot and add in all of your veggies. Stew is such a personal adventure and this is where you can decide how to personalize it. I use a couple of carrots, a couple stalks of celery, an onion or two and instead of regular potato I like to use sweet potato chopped up. I also add in a medium can of chopped tomatoes and a small can of tomato paste along with a container of beef broth. Pick out a bottle of big beefy red wine that you would like to drink, have a glass for yourself and pour the rest in to top everything off. Add lots of salt and pepper and a couple of bay leaves and set the pot to boil. Once it’s boiling turn it down to simmer and leave it only stirring occasionally until you are ready to eat. Let the stew cook for at least an hour but the more it cooks the bigger and better the flavours grow and blend.
Since I like my stew to be pretty thick I like to finish mine up with a bit of corn starch mixed with some milk or cream then added to the stew to thicken it up. Adding the cornstarch to the cream instead of water will help to emulsify any extra fats that have cooked out of your beef and make everything smooth.
Serve out big steaming bowls of beefy goodness, garnish if you like and enjoy!
Enjoying comfort food at home, I am Your Everyday Foodie.