Absolutely nothings says “comfort” quite like the slow-cooked classics. Wouldn’t you agree? Braising is the process of searing meats at a high temperature, then covering them with liquid and a lid to slowly cook them until they fall apart. This is one of my favorite braised beef recipes and I’m sure it will be on the top of your family’s request-list, too.
Do you have a cast iron Dutch oven? If not, start combing your local flea markets or perhaps your great aunt’s garage so that you can add it to your cookware collection. These babies are fantastic and make the most delicious soups, stews, roasts, and more. Cast iron cookware is incredibly forgiving, too. If it’s rusty, oil and heat seasons it right up. If you walk away from your food while it’s cooking, odds are that it will be just fine when you return and not a charred pile of yuck. Not that I would know anything about either of those scenarios… so yes, I love my cast iron.
For Oven Beef Stew, you will need:
- 3 pounds beef stew meat
1/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup flour
6 cups wine or beer
2 large onions, diced/chopped
2 Tbsp tomato paste
4 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce (more if you would like)
6 cups carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, diced
4-5 cloves fresh garlic
salt, pepper, and herbs to taste
1.) Place the Dutch oven (or really any large thick-bottom kettle with a lid) on the stove top and heat the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the stew meat and sprinkle it with salt. I like to use course sea salt but go with whatever you happen to have handy.
2.) Now, stir the meat to coat it in the oil and let it brown. Add the onions once it’s brown.
3.) Add the flour and stir to coat.
You should see your kettle contents looking a lot like this now:
4.) Add half of the wine, all of the Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste, and cover with a lid.
5.) Place it in a 325 F oven for 1 1/2 hours or leave it on the burner on LOW for the 90 minutes. This is totally up to you. Personally, I like the oven method because it clears up space on my stovetop for other cooking but the beauty of using a Dutch oven = options.
6.) Add the remaining ingredients, stir thoroughly, replace the lid, and return it to the oven for an additional 30 minutes (or until the vegetables are nice and tender).
I like to use fresh herbs from our aquaponics garden. This time I grabbed rosemary, thyme, parsley, and basil. How amazing is fresh garlic? I use a lot of garlic unless I’m making this dish for people with really upset tummies. Be sure to ask if they can handle garlicky food, if you are taking it to someone. Trust me, oven beef stew is awesome to bring to friends/neighbors who are under the weather.
7.) Remove the stew from the oven and give it a good stir. The meat should be falling apart and the vegetables should be tender. Add salt and pepper to taste and throw in some fresh parsley, if you happen to have it handy.
If you wish, add some frozen English peas at this point. I like to serve it with mashed potatoes, rice, or quinoa. Did you know that you can make quinoa in your rice cooker? If not, here’s how. That’s truly all there is to oven beef stew. It’s incredibly easy and once you’ve made it, you’ll never open another can of Dinty Moore again.