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Best Beef Stew

Tricks for making the best beef stew, with fall-apart tender beef and big hunks of carrots and potatoes in a rich caramelized onion and stout gravy.
Course Entree, Soups & Stews
Cuisine American, Best
Level Beginner
Main Ingredient Beef
Diet Dairy-Free
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 675 grams beef chuck
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 14 grams garlic (~2 large cloves sliced thin)
  • 300 grams onions (~2 medium sliced as thin as possible)
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 cup stout
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 5 juniper berries
  • 350 grams carrots (~3 cut into large chunks)
  • 350 grams potatoes (peeled and cut into large chunks)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup green peas

Instructions

  1. Cut the beef into 1 1/2 -inch (4 centimeter) chunks and season with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
  2. Heat a dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot and then add the oil, swirling to coat the pan. Add the beef leaving about 1/2-inch between each piece of meat. Depending on how large your pot is, you may need to do this in two batches.
  3. Fry the beef undisturbed until you see it start seeing a dark brown crust forming around the edges. Flip the beef and brown the other side in the same way. If the oil starts to smoke, or the fond accumulating on the bottom of the pan starts to burn, turn down the heat and add a tablespoon of water. Transfer the browned beef to a bowl and repeat until all the beef is browned.
  4. Add the onions and garlic to the pot, turn down the heat to medium low and cover the pot with a lid. Let this steam for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the lid and turn up the heat to medium high. Allow the onions to fully caramelize while stirring constantly to prevent burning. This should take about 15-20 minutes.
  6. Add the chicken stock, stout, soy sauce, tomato paste, bay leaves, juniper berries, and carrots and then return the beef to the pot. Stir to combine and then bring the mixture to a simmer.
  7. Cover with a lid and place in a 300 degree F (150 degrees C) oven until the beef is tender (about 1- 1 1/2 hours).
  8. When the meat is tender, remove the pot from the oven and skim off 1 tablespoon of fat to set aside and then skim off any additional fat and discard.
  9. To the fat you saved, add 1 1/2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and stir until a smooth paste forms.
  10. Add a ladle full of liquid from the stew to the flour mixture and whisk until smooth. Pour this mixture back into the pot and stir until it's evenly incorporated.
  11. Remove the rosemary and add the potatoes, cover and return to the oven for an additional 20-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  12. The stew will most likely need more salt, so adjust the salt to suit your tastes and then add the peas and cook for another few minutes on the stove to heat the peas through.
  13. Serve with crusty bread.