Over the last couple of weeks the cold and rainy weather has continued in Vancouver making me crave something warm. This is very unusual since the typical dry, warm heat makes me want everything to be cold. I finally gave into my cravings and made beef stew this past weekend.
A stew is a combination of ingredients that have been cooked in liquid and served in the resultant gravy. They generally tend to be much thicker in consistency and require a longer cooking time than soup, however this distinction might not always be clear. Due to the large variety of ingredients that can be used and the relative ease, stewing is one of the oldest known cooking methods and is believed to date back to ancient times.
I like to make mine using beef but poultry, sausages, and seafood are also common ingredients. If you prefer a more hearty meal a large amount of root vegetable can be added in. The rich, savory flavors make this a perfect dish for a cold winter day. Enjoy!
- 600 g of stewing beef
- 900 mL of beef stock
- half an onion
- 1/2 lb of mushrooms
- 3 carrots (optional)
- 4 tsp of cornstarch
- salt & pepper to taste
1. Take meat out and let sit at room temperature 20 minutes before cooking. Massage salt and pepper into meat and set aside.
2. Wash and cut mushrooms and onions into strips. Set aside.
3. Place olive oil in a large pot and heat on high. Brown all sides of your beef and immediately remove from pot. I highly recommend not skipping this step as it adds a rich dimension of flavor to your stew.
4. Place onions into pot and saute on medium-high heat until caramelized.
5. Pour beef broth in and make sure you get all the browings off the bottom of your pot. Reduce heat to low and re-add your beef. Cover and let simmer for an hour.
6. Saute mushrooms and sprinkle on a bit of salt and pepper. This step is optional but I find it adds extra flavor to your stew. Add mushrooms to your pot and re-cover. Let simmer on low for another two hours.
7. Place 2 tsp of cornstarch into a bowl and add a small amount of your stew. Slowly whisk your mixture into your stew to thicken it. If not thick enough repeat this step.
8. Dish out stew and place on top of steamed rice or enjoy alone.