There are few things more satisfying than a lusty beef stew to greet family or friends at the end of the day. This recipe had its origins in the good old-fashioned cooking that has come out of Bessie Babb's kitchen in Sebringville, Ont. This stew can be made in two stages: Brown and simmer the meat one day; add the vegetables a day or two later. Serve with a piquant cabbage, apple and cauliflower salad and a light dessert.
- Portion size 8 servings
- 2 1/2 lbs lean boneless stewing beef (chuck recommended)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cups finely chopped onions
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon crushed thyme
- 1 teaspoon crushed marjoram
- 4 cups lightly salted beef stock or water
- 8 potatoes
- 8 onions
- 8 carrots
- 1/4 rutabaga (yellow turnip)
- 3 parsnips
- 3 canned tomatoes plus 1/2 cup liquid
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Cut beef into 1-1/2-inch (4 cm) cubes; pat dry with paper towel. In heavy saucepan, heat oil and butter; brown meat one layer at a time. (For a rich tasty stew, it's important to brown meat well at this stage.)
When all meat is browned, set aside. Melt more butter in saucepan if necessary and saut?nion until tender and golden. Stir in flour; continue cooking over medium heat until flour is golden.
Return meat to saucepan; add seasonings (pepper, bay leaf, thyme and marjoram) and stock. Using wooden spoon, scrape up all browned bits from bottom of pan. Simmer, partially covered, until beef is tender, about 1-1/2 hours. Either cool and refrigerate overnight to allow flavours to mellow, or proceed with vegetables.
Peel potatoes, onions, carrots, rutabaga and parsnips. Leave potatoes whole; cut a shallow X in root end of each onion. Cut carrots, rutabaga and parsnips into finger-length sticks.
Chop tomatoes coarsely.
Add vegetables to stew and cook, covered, at moderate simmer until all ingredients are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes. Add peas; simmer 5 more minutes. Taste, adding more seasoning or liquid if necessary. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Looking for more delicious soup recipes? Try our 7 tasty beef soups and stews.