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Old 10-21-2008, 01:08 PM   #1
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What makes your beef stew superb?

I asked a similar question when I was making salsa and ended up with great salsa. I'm making beef stew today and I don't need a recipe--the basic ingredients aren't what I need. I just want something to add so DH will say, "Wow, that is incredible!"

So what do you put in your beef stew that makes it different, delicious, and incredible?

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Old 10-21-2008, 01:13 PM   #2
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I hear you have to start with good stock.....

Never have made beef stew, myself.

hmmmm......
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Old 10-21-2008, 01:14 PM   #3
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the best beef stew I ever made had red wine added to the broth
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Old 10-21-2008, 01:16 PM   #4
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I dredge the meat and use Port wine.
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Old 10-21-2008, 01:21 PM   #5
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I consider this a basic ingredient, but at any rate, enough bay leaves to impart an aroma, as well as a subtle taste. Usually 2-3 for the amount I make, depending on the size of the leaf. I think good beef stew needs that aroma as your leaning over a steaming bowl.
mmmm......
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Old 10-21-2008, 01:27 PM   #6
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Tomato paste
Worcestershire or soy sauce
red wine
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Old 10-21-2008, 01:55 PM   #7
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I always us a chuck roast instead of the stew beef. Stew beef i have found is tougher. the chuck roast has alot more flavor and when all done just falls apart.
I don't cut it up until it is all done.
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Old 10-21-2008, 02:16 PM   #8
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I always us a chuck roast instead of the stew beef. Stew beef i have found is tougher. the chuck roast has alot more flavor and when all done just falls apart.
I don't cut it up until it is all done.
That's interesting. Do you flour it or brown it first?

Another thing I do is brown the beef in the same pot you are going to use. Dredged in flour like Jeekin's said, and well seasoned.
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Old 10-21-2008, 02:19 PM   #9
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Guiness beer or red wine.

Well seasoned chuck. Nicely browned.

Good quality beef broth or stock.

and, like Andy said, soy sauce or worcestershire sauce

Cooked in the oven, low and slow.
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Old 10-21-2008, 02:36 PM   #10
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I add red wine, can of tomatoes and a jar of hoisin sauce. The rest is just the usual ingredients.
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Old 10-21-2008, 02:45 PM   #11
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I think that it is most essential to brown the meat in batches, dredged in flour, and get it really nicely brown. Yes, I use the same pot, then you have all those nice crunchy bits. I also finish my beef stew in the oven, not on top of the stove. Set the oven to 325F and let it cook there for a few hours.
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Old 10-21-2008, 03:40 PM   #12
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Roux........Sometimes a little Jamaican Pepper
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Old 10-21-2008, 03:55 PM   #13
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+1 for the roux
+2 for the good beef stock
+3 for the dredging and seasoning.
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Old 10-21-2008, 03:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by letscook View Post
I always us a chuck roast instead of the stew beef. Stew beef i have found is tougher. the chuck roast has alot more flavor and when all done just falls apart.
I don't cut it up until it is all done.
I have discovered that roasts are often cheaper than stew beef anyway. I do cut it up first though, so that more of the meat's surface area is browned.

I do sometimes cook the roast this way, without cutting it, and I do it with the same vegetables I use when making stew (potatoes, carrots, and onion), but I leave the vegetables whole instead of cutting them up. I enjoy the subtle differences in flavor when done as a stew and when done as a pot roast.

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Old 10-21-2008, 03:58 PM   #15
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Uncle Bob has said the magic word: "Roux". That's what you get when you brown the meat well and dredge it in flour. Don't be afraid to use enough oil to create a nice roux, and GRK is so right about the seasoning. Put the seasoning IN the flour. Makes all the difference. Lots of pepper.

Like letscook, I never buy the cut up stew meat. I choose a nice chuck steak or roast and cut my own. I agree with Barbara L, though - more surfaces=more browning, so I cut it up before I brown and cook it. Otherwise, what you've got is a pot roast.
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Old 10-21-2008, 04:03 PM   #16
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So what do you put in your beef stew that makes it different, delicious, and incredible?
Lamb.

Lee
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Old 10-21-2008, 04:10 PM   #17
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Lamb.

Lee

then it wouldnt be a beef stew then i guess. lol j/k
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Old 10-21-2008, 04:12 PM   #18
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I've yet to find the perfect stew...
But they've been getting better with dark beer or red wine.
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Old 10-21-2008, 04:34 PM   #19
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I buy top sirloin when it's on special..........and in addition to many of the ideas already offered (I always start with a seasoned roux) I like to add scraped fresh corn on the cob in addition to other veggies that typically go into a beef stew........
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Old 10-21-2008, 04:44 PM   #20
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The herb dumplings that hover on top....
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