Hearty Beef Stew {quick..family..comfort}

20121128_212417Everyone should have one good, simple beef stew recipe in their collection.   Something easy and reliable, kind like that comfy sweater that just goes with everything.   I suppose this doesn’t fall under the “quick” category here, because this stew requires approximately two hours of cooking time.  And yet, because the prep work is rather minimal, I still feel safe including it here in my mini series.

Now before you dive right into the recipe, I need to issue a word of warning: this stew recipe uses (brace yourself)…

Canned, condensed soup


You’re just going to have to trust me with this one.  Condensed soup gives this stew a beautifully rich texture and concentrated flavor. And remember, we’re going for simple, basic here, not haute cuisine.  Another bonus: you’ve got meat, veggies and potatoes all in one meal.  Just serve with some bread and you’re as golden as the mushroom soup.

Up next in the series is a superb pasta dish with a surprise ingredient.  Until then, stay warm and eat well!

Hearty Beef Stew {quick..family..comfort}

  • 1 pound stewing beef (see Note>)
  • Vegetable oil
  • About 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 large onion, medium dice
  • 3 large or 5-6 slender carrots, cut in 1″ lengths
  • 6 small red or yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 can Campbells® Golden Mushroom Soup
  • 1 can Campbells® Condensed Beef Broth
  • 1 small, 187ml bottle red wine (sold in 4-packs)
  • 3/4 tsp celery seed
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme (or about 1/2 tsp dried)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • Fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°.  Place flour in a gallon-sized plastic zipper bag.  Pat beef dry with paper towels then toss in the bag with the flour to lightly coat. In a medium Dutch Oven, heat a thin film of vegetable oil over medium heat.  Working in batches, shake excess flour off meat and brown on all sides.  Remove meat and place on a plate lined with paper towels.

Add a little more oil to pan.  Add onions and carrots; saute over medium heat until softened, about 10 minutes.  Add beef broth to pan, increase heat slightly and scrape bottom of pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits.

Return beef to pan.  Add mushroom soup, red wine, celery seed, thyme, and bay leaf.  Season stew with a little bit of salt and some black pepper.  Bring to a boil on top of the stove.  Cover pot with aluminum foil (which assures a tight fit) and then with a lid.  Bake for one hour.

Remove stew from oven.  Cut potatoes into halves (or quartered if large) and add them to stew.  Stir to combine.  Recover and return pot to oven to cook for an additional 45 minutes, or until beef is tender.

Prior to serving, remove bay leaf and thyme stems.  Adjust seasonings.

Serves 4

Note> I’m pretty particular when it comes to beef stew meat.  I found that all too often, what’s sold as “stew meat” at the grocery store is more of a “mystery meat.”  IMO, it’s worth the extra time to purchase a chuck roast, trim the excess fat, and cut the meat into 1 1/2-inch-thick chunks.  This way you know exactly where the meat came from and you can control the amount of fat.  Just look how lovely it is!


2 thoughts on “Hearty Beef Stew {quick..family..comfort}

  1. We have a picture of my husband with four bowls in front of him after using bread to get every last drop of sauce. Everyone loved your recipe!

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