Classic Beef Stew

Story by Natalie
Classic Beef Stew
Tap any image to pin it.

My kids aren’t picky eaters, but there are a few recipes that they ask for more frequently than others, beef stew being at the top of that list.

Growing up, my sisters and I ate simple foods. A typical week in our household consisted of chicken and rice with steamed veggies, spaghetti, taco night, a casserole, and beef stew. 

I got a little burnt out, and to this day, I try to avoid chicken and rice, unless it’s loaded with lots of toppings (like in our chicken fajita bowl). Beef stew on the other hand, is something I crave often, and much to my delight it also happens to be one of my kid’s favorites.

Classic Beef Stew

Some meals are more nostalgic than others and beef stew is one such meal for me. It reminds me of home and it makes me so happy that my children get that same comfort out of eating it, so when Simply Organic asked The Modern Proper how we “cook for joy,” this recipe for beef stew immediately came to mind.

Classic Beef Stew

Holly and I are two moms with three kids each. That being said, our days of being able to meander in the kitchen for several uninterrupted hours testing new recipes or methodically perfecting old ones is a thing of the past. 

It’s safe to say that for both of us, uninterrupted extended time in the kitchen, equals JOY.  But, because that JOY has become a luxury, we have spent the last year reinventing recipes that taste like they should have taken hours, but in reality are much simpler with equally flavorful results. 

We've made this effort because we believe with all our hearts that no matter how busy your life is, quality and flavor should never be compromised, nor should the quality of the time spent in your kitchen.

Classic Beef Stew

We’ve noticed that with the holidays approaching you, our readers, have been requesting more classics. Why? Well, if I had to guess I’d say it’s because you want something you can trust that isn't so difficult it will have you trouble shooting or gathering obscure ingredients. At the end of the day you (and we) want something that is accessible to tiny hands that may want to help, and feeds the souls, as well as the bodies, of our loved ones. What we all really want is something that has us cooking for joy, and not just necessity.

So, let’s talk about this beef stew and what makes it so special. 

We have the classic ingredients such as:

  • Chuck roast
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Carrots
  • Beef stock
  • Tomato paste
  • Potatoes

...but, in the name of reinventing classics to make them a little more special, we’ve also added Simply Organic cinnamon sticks and whole cloves. These warm spices offer a layer of depth to the broth, making it all the more slurpable. By using whole ingredients instead of ground, the flavors are much more subtle, and oh so delicious.

Classic Beef Stew

How do you make homemade beef stew?

It recently occurred to me that not everyone knows how to make beef stew. Well, I’m here to help with that. Did you know there are several ways to make it?

  • Insta post
  • Slow Cooker
  • In the oven
  • Over a campfire
  • On the stove

Since we want this to be a beginner recipe, we’ll be cooking this version on the stove. The key here is time. We use most of the time simmering the beef in broth in a covered pot until the beef is falling apart. After this, we finish by adding a little more broth and our veggies to the pot and simmer it uncovered until everything comes together.

Classic Beef Stew

How do you thicken beef stew? 

For a slightly thicker stew we like to add a slurry, but this is absolutely optional. For those curious, a slurry is a combination of cornstarch and water. You blend the two in a bowl until a murky liquid is made. Then, add this mixture to your stew (or any soup) and you’ll quickly see your broth get nice and thick.

Classic Beef Stew

What kind of beef is used in beef stew?

When shopping for meat you’ll want to look for a quality chuck roast instead of your standard pre cut stew meat. Yes, stew meat is just fine, but using a chuck roast is less expensive, per pound, and has way more flavor. The reason being is that the fat is not yet trimmed and fat is always where the flavor is at. Repeat after me…”fat equals flavor!”

Classic Beef Stew

How do you make beef stew meat tender? 

The short answer is time. No matter what method you use to cook your stew, time is something you can’t escape. Usually, I cook the beef in a small amount of liquid in a dutch oven or braiser in the oven (similar to our braised beef with mushrooms), but for this recipe you can achieve similar results by keeping it on the stove top for 1 ½ hours covered with our key spices (cinnamon and cloves). Towards the end, you’ll want to add in the potatoes and vegetables. This allows the fat to break down which helps a to tenderize the meat and allows it to absorb all that delicious flavor!

Classic Beef Stew

What do you serve with beef stew?

The beauty of beef stew is that it is a stand alone dish. That’s being said, we all know just how good it is to serve it alongside a thick slice of well buttered bread to help you soak up all those juices.

I hope I’ve inspired you just a bit to find joy in your cooking while keeping things simple. At the end of the day, I’ve realized it doesn’t matter how complicated or effortless my dinners are, if my kids are eating them with delight, I’ve won. I’m wishing you the same victories, as well.

This sponsored post is written by TMP on behalf of Simply Organic in partnership with TheFeedFeed. The opinions and text are all ours. Thank you for supporting the brands we love.

Classic Stovetop Beef Stew Recipe

Serves 8

Ingredients

3-4lbs chuck roast cut into 2" pieces (we prefer this over pre-cut stew meat)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
5 garlic cloves
1 large onion, diced
4 large carrots, diced
4 celery ribs, diced
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 bay leaves
2 Simply Organic Cinnamon Sticks
20 Simply Organic Whole Cloves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
8 cups beef stock
2 tsp beef bouillon
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2" pieces
6 yukon gold potatoes, quartered
2 cups green beans, cut into 2" pieces
1/4 cup corn starch
1/2 cup warm water

Method

  1. Generously season meat with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven or heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Working in small batches brown all sides of meat until edges are just brown, but not cooked through. Set meat aside and continue with remaining meat.
  2. In the pot used for the meat add onions, celery and carrots. If necessary add another tbsp of olive oil. Cook until vegetables are tender, stirring often. Add garlic to the medley and continue cooking until fragrant, about 2 more minutes. Once cooked add in tomato paste, bay leaves, thyme, cinnamon and cloves. Once fragrant, add meat and 4 cups of the beef stock to the pot. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook on low for 1 ½ hours or until beef is falling apart.
  3. Remove lid and add in beef bouillon along with remaining beef stock and prepared vegetables. Cook until potatoes and carrots are fork tender, about 20 more minutes. Adjust salt as needed.
  4. For a thicker stew mix cornstarch and water together in a small bowl until mixture is a murky liquid. Add to the prepared stew and stir over low heat until stew has thickened.
  5. Serve stew topped with parsley and good crusty bread.