I love this time of year. A big bowl of stew and a slice of hearty bread make the warmest and coziest dinner. Beef Stew can be a wonderful easy dinner with a few steps of preparation.
First step, I brown the meat...Now there are two important things to remember when you brown meat. Dry the meat before you brown it. And you can do this step at any time… browning meat can be accomplished several days ahead of time and combined for stew during the week. Prepping ingredients ahead of time is a trick of mine.
Add onion, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaves, onion, salt, sugar, pepper, paprika, and allspice. I know this sounds weird, sugar and allspice. But it really adds some great depth to the stew.
Cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours. Your house will smell like you are the best cook in the entire world.
Remove bay leaves. Add carrots, potatoes and celery. Cover and cook 30 to 40 minutes longer.
To thicken gravy, remove 1/2 cup of the beef stock and add two tablespoons of cornstarch until smooth. Mix with a little hot liquid and return mixture to pot. Stir and cook until bubbly. And you are done.
While the beef stew is cooking, I love to whip up a loaf of beer bread. This bread is new to me but oh my goodness, it is delicious. And as we have a bunch of parties and lots of old beer at our house. It is a wonderful way to get rid of some nasty cheap beer that my hubby buys… I like to combine the dry ingredients and store a couple in Ziploc bags for beer bread emergencies.
I spray a loaf pan and combine the dry ingredients and a 12 oz. bottle of beer. Pour over melted butter and voila, you have beer bread. Bake at 375 degrees for one hour. Cool for 15 minutes. Now let me urge you to sift the dry ingredients before you make this bread. This is a dense bread and sifting it will make it lighter….
Old-Time Beef Stew
- 2 pounds stew beef
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1 or 2 bay leaves
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Dash ground allspice or ground cloves
- 3 large carrots, sliced
- 3 ribs celery, chopped
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 cups flour (sifted)
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 (12 ounce) can beer
- 1/4 cup melted butter (1/4 cup will do just fine)