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Old 11-05-2007, 03:51 PM   #1
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Need Beef stew help

Tomorrow I have (took) the day off from work. Thought I would make beef stew. In the past I have made it by simply cooking the beef in broth with the usual suspects (carrots, onions, potatoes) but it is rather boring. I would like to make a thick rich tasting stew.

I was thinking of adding hoisin and tomatoes. Maybe red wine?

Any tips with ingredients or technique would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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Old 11-05-2007, 03:57 PM   #2
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I use Port & Cab in my stew. Also, toss the meat in flour then brown in the pot. Just made it on Saturday.
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Old 11-05-2007, 04:02 PM   #3
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I'd recommend browning the meat in some oil then sweating a mire poix and garlic for a base of flavor. Add some tomato paste, canned tomato, wine, herbs (rosemary, bay, thyme, basil, etc.) of your choice and broth. Simmer until the meat is tender. Add the veggies and simmer until they are tender. Finish with a splash of balsamic or red wine vinegar and serve. If you want to thicken the broth, stir in a flour slurry and cook for a couple of minutes.
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Old 11-05-2007, 05:02 PM   #4
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In addtion to your veggies. Sweet Potato, Turnips, Parsnips can add a different twist...Thicken with a slurry or roux.

Enjoy!
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Old 11-05-2007, 05:10 PM   #5
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Interesting to finish with vinegar. Do you add it to the serving or pot? May try that. I also was thinking about the sweet potatoes since I have some on hand.
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Old 11-05-2007, 05:39 PM   #6
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Just a splash to the pot.
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Old 11-05-2007, 07:03 PM   #7
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I coat the beef in flour before adding them to the pot that has already been sweating off the onion (or leeks) and garlic. I add water to the pot when they are slightly browned then add whatever veges I have around, usually carrot, green capsicum, zucchini and mushrooms. Now it depends on how I intend to serve the stew as to what goes in next. A can of crushed tomatoes with extra tomato paste and a decent amount of red wine. Otherwise potatoes and stock. Irrespective of which way I go, I add Worcestershire sauce (very liberally), herbs (usually parsley and chives but sometimes also sage), and seasoning (with extra garlic powder on occasion). Then again it depends on how I serve it as to how thick I make it and I just do that by simmering for a long time. No additional thickeners. There are times when I may add a good splash of oyster sauce and/or soy sauce. I like to keep the flavours pretty simple as it is a bit rustic and getting too fancy can sometimes loose the basicness of the dish.
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Old 11-06-2007, 03:30 PM   #8
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My beef stew is cooking and smells very very good (just ask the Verizon man that was here!) I did brown the beef in flour, added crushed tomatoes, red wine, worcestershire, bay leaf, thyme, s&p, parsley (dried) In addition to the carrots, onions, potatoes, I am going to roast sweet pot and butternut squash to add in the final minutes. My plan is to finish with the vinegar suggestion. Some nice bread too! Thanks for all your help.
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Old 11-07-2007, 07:38 AM   #9
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Sounds good!
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Old 11-13-2007, 06:12 AM   #10
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I like to use stewed tomatoes (because of the bell pepper and celery in it) as well as tomato sauce. A cup of whatever red wine I'm drinking, some herbs like bay leaves, oregano, thyme, nutmeg, garlic powder, parsley, and pepper. Towards the end of cooking, in place of salt, I use the Bovril concentrated beef flavored liquid bouillon or the Better than Bouillon beef base. You can add a little of the beef flavor when adding the herbs and a more toward the end of the cooking if you need it. I find it gives it that little umph it needs.
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Old 11-13-2007, 07:17 AM   #11
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Ya, I also use tomatoes in mine. I find it helps thicken it up with the tomatoes. Good idea on the sweet potatoes and turnip, Uncle Bob. I'll have to try that.
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Old 11-13-2007, 07:43 AM   #12
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add Pearl Barley to it, I`ve not seen it mentioned and can`t figure how anyone can make a beef stew without it?
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:12 AM   #13
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My uncle, who has passed away, used to make beef and kidney stew. I here kidneys are not pleasant to work with, but one of these days I'm going to give it a shot because they really added something special to the stew. They were cut into small, mushroom sized pieces, not sliced. This was a brown stew without tomotos or tomoato paste.
Barley sounds great, too. Anything to add a different texture to the usual ingredients and compliment the beef.
I've got a front quarter of beef ordered and I think one of the first things I do will be to open a package or two of stew meat and make some stew.
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Old 11-13-2007, 01:24 PM   #14
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A little hint that helps with more layers of flavor. Brown the beef well, then brown the onion/carrots/whatever (wait on the celery - too much water in it). Add some tomato paste (may need a little more oil) and brown that some. Add garlic, cook for just a minute, add some flour and cook for another minute until it starts to brown on the bottom, say just short of getting burned. (I usually chicken out a little too soon). Add the celery and immediately deglaze with red wine. Add stock or water, a couple of bay leaves, a little thyme, and cook until everything is done. You could add noodles near the end, as a substitute for potatoes. Just let them cook in the stew. Chopped parsley right at the end. French bread, wine.

'm making myself hungry!
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Old 11-13-2007, 01:45 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by YT2095 View Post
add Pearl Barley to it, I`ve not seen it mentioned and can`t figure how anyone can make a beef stew without it?

YT, I use barley in a hearty soup with beef shanks and mushrooms. It's a favorite for both SO and me.
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:31 PM   #16
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I here kidneys are not pleasant to work with...
I can't say I have ever had a problem with kidneys (except my own!! LOL). You need a sharp knife cos they can be slippery little suckers. Just make sure you get rid of the white bit. Dust in flour before sauting if you are putting them in a stew or pie. When you want to just eat them as in a fry-up, no need to flour, just take out the white bit, cut in half and fry. Yum.
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:09 PM   #17
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add Pearl Barley to it, I`ve not seen it mentioned and can`t figure how anyone can make a beef stew without it?
I'd rather starve than eat barely, man.
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Old 11-14-2007, 06:09 AM   #18
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First, dredge the beef cubes in seasoned flour, and then sauté them on high heat in a bit of melted butter just to brown the sides. Remove the meat to a platter for a few moments, leaving the fat in the pan.

Add your vegetables (not the potatoes, just the carrots, onions, celery, and some diced garlic) along with any dry herbs you like. Thyme, oregano, rosemary work nicely with the meat. Sauté for about 5 minutes, just till they begin to caramelize. To add some depth and richness, add about a cup of chopped tomatoes at this time, and cook for another 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with a cup of burgundy, and then toss the meat back in. Fill the pot to cover the beef with stock, and a few T. of dijon mustard. Simmer for an hour, then thicken with a roux, and simmer for another hour. Finally, for the last half hour, add the potatoes.

I always found the addition of the tomatoes and the dijon gave the entire project a much more interesting flavour.
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Old 11-14-2007, 08:00 AM   #19
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I'd rather starve than eat barely, man.
Och Lad, ya dunee ken what`s gud fer ye < /Scottish accent>
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Old 11-14-2007, 08:07 AM   #20
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I love barley! YT, It's just not so common in stews here. Usually potatoes are in the stew (with other veggies) or it's served over noodles or rice. I use barley alot as a grain in side dishes and in soups. My beef barley is pretty thick . . . it could be called a stew. Maybe that's it. If we have barley in it it's usually called beef barley soup. Or "stoup" in RR talk.
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