Beef stew is comfort food at its finest. The ordinary ingredients meld together into a satisfying, savory meal. The types of vegetables and herbs can be altered, resulting in endless variations of this classic recipe. The following recipe serves 4; if you’re expecting more people, the ingredients can be doubled, tripled, etc. so everyone can enjoy a bit of good ole, down-home cooking.
6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1/2 cup flour
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 onion, peeled and diced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup celery, sliced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 cup red or white wine
4 cups beef broth
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried herbs (oregano, thyme, savory, etc.)
2 large baking potatoes, peeled and diced
A few sprigs of fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper, as needed
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
Combine flour and pepper in a small bowl. Dredge the meat in the flour/pepper mixture. Sear a little meat at a time in the hot oil, turning the pieces until meat is browned on all sides; remove meat from pot. Add more oil as needed between each batch of meat.
In the same pot, sauté the onions, garlic, carrots and celery on medium-high heat. Remove vegetables from pot.
Deglaze the pot with red wine vinegar and wine, scraping bottom of pot with a spatula. Add beef broth, bay leaves and herbs. Add the meat and the vegetables to the pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about an hour-and-a-half, stirring often, until the meat is fork-tender. Add the potatoes; cover and simmer about 30 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Add parsley and season with salt and pepper, as needed. Ladle into bowls and serve. Tip: Serve with warm, crusty bread and butter.