Stew has long existed before the human population starts to multiply; people across different parts of the world have different recipes for making stew and also, the cold season plays a major role in the frequency of making stew. People who are located at the colder region of the world have many and different versions of stew recipes, i.e. stews are known to be cold-weather dishes to them.
Stews are invented by different cultures and are mostly named according to the methods and ingredients used for preparing them. For instance, you might have come across phrases like beef stew made with cow meat; mutton stew (goat meat stew), lamb stew, pork stew, snail stew, turkey stew, chicken stew, fish stew, crab stew, oyster or lobster stew, mushroom stew, cream stew, tomato stew, vegetable stew just to mention a few. This is to tell you that, there are different things that can be used to prepare stews ranging from meat, fish, creams to vegetables.
Stews, in general, are not necessarily supposed to be some kind of thick savory flavourful dishes, they can be made lighter or moderately thick in consistency, for instance, if you check my previous post on tomato stew, following the steps and the ingredients which I used to prepare it, you will really know that some stews do not really need a lot of thickening. There are different ways in which stew is consumed such as when it is served with boiled potatoes, rice, plantain, cocoyam, yam, beans, pasta, noodles or biscuits. Stews at times come in white color and not necessarily redden with tomatoes or wine. These days, people use wine, beer, and water as liquid additives in their stews.In today’s recipe, I will be talking more on a beef stew made with red wine, potatoes, carrots, peas among other things. A lot of people do mistaken stew to be soup, but these are two different dishes; while soup is usually made with a lot of leafy vegetables, meat, sea foods and/or palm oil and are slightly thicker than stew, stew, on the other hand, is less thick than soups and are mostly prepared with paste or fresh plum tomato, root vegetables (carrots, onions), flour, vegetable oil, bacon, and meat broth.
The popular beef stew is usually prepared by coating chunks of cut beef in flour or cornstarch before browning them in oil or fats.The beef stew traditionally is left on a relatively low temperature to simmer but not to boil, for more than1 hour until the beef is cooked through and becomes tender and the flavor and ingredients are diffused and mingled together with the meat. The beef stew may have a single or a combination of green peas, beans, carrots, Irish potatoes, bay leaves, onions, tomatoes and pepper among other things.
Table of Contents
When you are making typical beef stew, there are certain things you need to consider such as:
- Always make sure you usethe soft part of beef or boneless beef for your stew
- Season your stew to your taste
- Do not use too much oil or fat in your stew; let the quantity of oil be slightly above the stew, but not overflowing oil or fat.
- Make sure your beef is completely browned in oil or fat. You may cook it in batches
- Lightly thicken your stew with potatoes or flour
- Your vegetables should be added as one of the last ingredients so that they don’tget overcooked or mushy by excessive heat.
- Use good spices to give your stew the desired flavor
- You can use your crockpot or slow cooker for cooking even the toughest beef on low heat till it gets soften. The process of cooking meat slowly in a crockpot effectively softens even the toughest meats. This allows you to carry out other activities while your meat is left to simmer slowly in the crockpot on low heat. In the absence of a slow cooker, you can make use of any kind of pot provided it is oven proven and can withstand high heat. Also, stove, gas cooker and electric cooker are another alternatives used for cooking beef stew
- Beef stew can be prepared on a stovetop, gas cooker and oven or on any other sources of heat.
Ingredients for beef stew preparation
- 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil for browning. (You can use bacon in place of oil)
- Kilogram boneless beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 Cups red wine
- 4-6 potatoes cut into rings
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 Medium carrots, largely chopped
- 1 Teaspoon chili pepper
- Ground black pepper
- 4 Cloves garlic
- 1 Teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 Teaspoon curry powder
- 2 Bay leaves (optional)
- 1 Teaspoon dried parsley(optional)
- 150g peas
- 5 Bouillon cubes (seasoning cubes)
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 2 table spoons all-purpose flour, sieved
- 2 cups water or meat broth, homemade or store-bought
- Salt to taste
Methods of preparing beef stew
Preparation time=30 minutes, cook time=2 hours, total time= 2 hours, 30 minutes
There are different ways of preparing beef stew and I’m just going to talk about two out of many methods. The first method would be explained briefly.
Procedures for making beef stew
- Season your plain flour with salt and pepper and whisk to incorporate with the pepper and salt.
- Wash and season your meat with salt and pepper, leave to rest for 3 minutes, after 3 minutes, toast the beef in the mixed flour to coat completely and set aside.
- Heat up 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in a big but heavy pot and allow the oil to be completely hot. Add the flour-coated meat to the hot oil and stir from time to time till the whole meat is brown. This should be done in batches to enable the beef sear properly.
- When the meat is well browned, pack into a bowl and keep aside.
- Add the chopped onions into the oil, season with pepper and salt and stir fry for 2 minutes till it turns brown completely.
- Dissolve the thick tomato paste with a little water; add it to the pot to coat with the onions and stir occasionally until the sour taste is completely disappeared. You can dissolve the leftover flour and add to the content on heat to thicken the stew a bit and leave to cook for 30 seconds if you choose to.
- Add 2 cups of wine to the content and stir to the bottom of the pot in case it gets stick at the bottom of the pot.
- Add the browned meat; stir in bouillon cubes (beef seasonings), thyme, curry, pepper, and salt to the content, stir and leave to sit on a low heat to simmer for 30 minutes to bring out more flavor.
- Peel potatoes, cube into large chunks and add to the stew
- Scrape carrots and dice into large chunks and add to the stew, cover the pot for about 10 minutes and stir from time to time, to enable the ingredients to combine perfectly with the meat. Cover the pot with a tight lid to simmer for 1 hour till the meat is cooked through
- Add peas, stir and leave to cook for about 5 minutes. Taste and adjustother ingredients
- Serve with boiled potatoes, pasta or rice.
Steps on how to prepare quick beef stew
Preparation time= 38 minutes, cook time= 1hour, total time= 1 hour: 38 minutes
- Wash; season your beef with onions, pepper, bouillon cubes, minced garlic and salt
- Cook the meat with 2 cups of water on high heat for 40 minutes till very soft and tender.
- While meat is on heat, peel, cube and cook the potatoes until a bit soft. Or you can wait for the meat to get cooked before cooking the potatoes, if you have no other source of heat.
- When the meat is soft, separate it from the broth or drain the liquid out leaving only the meat.
- Sift 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour and coat all the cooked beef in the flour
- Heat 4 tbsp. vegetable oil or melt bacon in a pan; bring on heat and sear the beef in it, until completely browned. This should be done at most in two batches. Remove the beef from the oil into a dried bowl and keep aside.
- Add minced garlic, sliced onions, sprinkle 1 seasoning cube, pepper and salt over it, saut for 1 minute, till they are soft. Stir in 2 tbsp. tomato paste and saut for another 2 minutes till the raw f lavour is gone.
- Add 2 cups of red wine into a medium sized pot and bring to a boil for 10 minutes, stir to prevent it from burning at the bottom. Bring the browned beef into the pot containing the wine; add the sauted vegies too to the pot containing the meat. You can slightly thicken the stew with a little flour.
- Add the meat broth you have earlier kept aside, add 1 teaspoon thyme, curry, 2 bouillon cubes, pepper and a little salt, 2 bay leaves and stir to combine and cook uncovered for 10 minutes till it starts to thicken.
- Add the boiled potatoes, the chopped carrots and leave the stew on a low heat for 10 minutes to simmer
- After 10 minutes, add peas and cover the pot and allow the stew to simmer for another 15 minutes.
- Open to stir, remove bay leaves from the stew, put off heat and bring down the stew.
- Your beef stew is ready, serve with pasta or boiled rice.
Procedures for preparing a simple beef stew
- Season the beef with garlic, onions, pepper, bouillon cubes, curry and salt. Light up your heat source and cook the meat until very soft;adding water ocassionaly till the meat is soft
2. Scrape, rinse and cut the potatoes into medium sizes. Cook with a little salt for 10minutes, you don’t need them to be very soft yet.
3. When the meat is soft, separate it from the broth or drain the liquid out leaving only the meat.
4. Sift 2 table spoon flour, coat the cooked beefinit, then heat up 4 teaspoons vegetable oil in a pan and fry the beef till they are comppletely browned
6. Add 2 cups of red wine into a medium sized pot and bring to a boil for 10 minutes, stir to prevent it from burning at the bottom. Bring the browned beef into the pot containing the wine; add the sauted vegies too to the pot containing the meat. You can slightly thicken the stew with a little flour.
7. Add the meat broth you have earlier kept aside, add 1 teaspoon thyme, curry, 2 bouillon cubes, pepper and a little salt, 2 bay leaves and stir to combine and cook uncovered for 10 minutes till it starts to thicken.
8. Add the boiled potatoes, the chopped carrots and leave the stew on a low heat for 10 minutes to simmer
9. After 10 minutes, add peas and cover the pot and allow the stew to simmer for another 15 minutes.
10. When all the ingredients have been added, leave to cookfor few minuts, open stir and adjust ingredients. Put off heat and dish into a plate.
You can serve beef stew with boiled rice or macaroni.Enjoy!
Dr. Brown is the founder of Jotscroll, he is a Medical Doctor, Entrepreneur, and author. Dr. Razi Brown holds a medical degree from the University of San Diego. He has invested in many startups and is currently working on his fifth book to be published in the upcoming year.