Beef stew

Beef stew

The photo is from 2008 (probably the last time I made this recipe, which is sad), but I’ve got a pot of this on the stove right now, stinking up the house with beef and garlic and onion and fresh rosemary and thyme.  This recipe is an adaptation of my mom’s – I like it a little spicier than she does, so I add hot paprika, and I use beer instead of water for a richer sauce.


  • 1 to 1.5 lbs of beef, cut into cubes.  Chuck roast was on sale at the market today, so I bought one and cubed it myself.
  • 1 tbsp of flour
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 3-4 large carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 3-4 potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped (sometimes I use half potatoes/half turnips for an earthier stew)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 bottle or can of beer, preferably dark, preferably flat, but whatever you have around the house is good.  Today I used the random bottle of Beck’s that’s been in our fridge forever.  Sometimes I use a can of Guinness.
  • Salt, pepper
  • 1 tbsp of paprika
  • Herbs – dried thyme is nice.  Today I made a bouquet garni out of fresh rosemary and thyme and immersed it in the pot


You’re going to want to use a heavy pot with a lid.  I love making this recipe in cast iron – the heat radiates from all sides and everything braises evenly and beautifully.  I’ve got a deep cast iron pan that has a cast iron skillet that fits it as a lid that I got for about $30 on Amazon with some Christmas money a few years ago (Thanks, mom!) that is perfect for this recipe.

  • Cut and salt the beef and toss it with the flour.  Let it come to room temperature while you chop the other vegetables.
  • Heat oil in the bottom of the pan and brown the beef in it.  Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Toss the onions and garlic into the pot, cook until they are fragrant and translucent.
  • Add the carrots & potatoes and browned beef, mix together well.
  • Pour your beer all over everything and stir.  Add a little water if necessary – you don’t want to cover the vegetables, but you want the top layer to be sitting about 1/2 way in liquid.
  • Stir in paprika, some salt and pepper, and add your herbs.  If using a bouquet garni, immerse it in the middle of the pot and scoop all the vegetables to cover.
  • Bring to a boil, then cover the pot with a lid and turn the heat down very low.
  • Cook until the vegetables are fork-tender.  I like to leave it for about 1.5-2 hours.
  • Eat with crusty bread.





2 responses to “Beef stew

  1. Oooh. I’ve never thought to add paprika. And beer is always a good addition. We also tend to use a bay leaf at my house. Mmm, stew. I love winter.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s