Embarking on a culinary journey to create the best beef stew? This heartwarming dish is a classic for good reason. Here’s how to perfect your beef stew recipe, combining time-honored techniques with a few modern twists.
Step 1: Prep the Beef
Start with quality ingredients. Cube 2 pounds of top sirloin steak and season with kosher salt. This cut of meat, known for its tenderness and flavor, is ideal for stew.
Step 2: Brown the Beef
Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot. Brown the beef in batches; this ensures each piece develops a rich, caramelized exterior, adding depth to your stew. Remember, overcrowding leads to steaming, not browning.
Step 3: Add Vegetables and Flavorings
Sauté a mix of sweet onion, carrots, and celery for a robust base. Garlic and cremini mushrooms further enhance the stew’s earthy flavors. Stir in all-purpose flour and tomato paste, cooking for a few minutes to remove the raw flavor of the flour.
Step 4: Deglaze and Simmer
Pour in half a cup of dry red wine, scraping up any browned bits from the pot – this is where a lot of the flavor lies. Add bay leaves, cubed potatoes, chopped onions, sliced carrots, and cover with water or broth. Simmer for about 2 hours until the meat is tender.
Step 5: Final Touches
Near the end of cooking, add balsamic vinegar for a hint of acidity and peas for color and sweetness. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
Serve your beef stew on its own or elevate it by serving over al dente egg noodles or garlic mashed potatoes.