This time of year feels like stew season, even in Los Angeles where we are finally having our share of cooler weather. Stew is the perfect heart warming meal that’s easy to put together, and tastes as if you have slaved in the kitchen all day. Beef Stew tends to be a favorite in most families because of the hardy flavors and luxurious sauce. The tender meat, along with the carrots and potatoes, compliment each other all in one bountiful bowl.
All the ingredients for stew can be found at your local grocery – a couple pounds of cubed beef, thawed pearl onions, carrots, potatoes and a few pantry items. If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can make this recipe in a stockpot on the stove top, just follow the steps and simmer for 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is fork tender. For a faster approach, you can also use an electric pressure cooker, just cut the time to 40 minutes and let the pressure release naturally.
It’s great to share this recipe with family and friends because it can feed a larger group. However, if it’s just the two of you, this stew is great for leftovers at lunchtime, or reheated again for dinner. You can freeze this stew for several months and enjoy it again when craving another bowl.
3 pounds beef stew meat
1 16 ounce bag frozen pearl onions, thawed
2 cups baby carrots
1 1/2 cups Yukon gold potatoes, large dice
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt + more to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch
14 ounce can beef broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 bay leaf
(Serves 6 – 8)
1. In a bowl, mix together onion powder, smoked paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Toss stew meat in dry herbs. In insert of your slow cooker or in a large stockpot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Heat oil on medium-high heat for 2 minutes, then add meat in batches to pan. Sear meat until dark brown and set aside in a bowl as meat browns, continue browning meat.
2. Sprinkle arrowroot over last batch of meat, while it is still cooking and stir. Cook for 2 minutes to remove any raw flavor. Add back all of seared meat and drained pearl onions. Add beef broth and 1 cup of water to meat and stir to combine.
3. Add tomato paste and bay leaf and stir to combine. If you are not using a slow cooker, add carrots and potatoes and turn heat down to simmer and cook stew for 2 1/2 hours. If you are using a slow cooker, place insert into heating element and set for 8 hours on low.
4. After 2 hours, add carrots and potatoes to slow cooker, stir to combine. Continue cooking for 6 more hours. If you can’t add vegetables, after 2 hours, add them at beginning of the cooking cycle, they will be a little softer. Remove lid and stir. Ladle stew into bowls and Enjoy!