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Beef Stew 

This beef stew will tenderize any cut of beef if slow simmered for six hours or more.  Stew beef usually comes from the round or shank areas and is an economical cut of beef.

2 lbs of stew beef

4 large carrots

3 stalks of celery

2 large onions

1 tsp thyme

tsp marjoram

1 bay leaf

tsp salt (optional)

tsp pepper

3 large (28 oz) cans of whole tomatoes

1 tbl of olive oil

Serves 6

Cut the stew beef into 1 inch chunks or smaller.  Heat the olive oil in a large stew pot.   Add the beef, salt and pepper and brown the meat on all sides.  Peel and cut the carrots into bite size pieces as well as the celery and onions.  Add these and all other ingredients.  Use a knife to cut the whole tomatoes into smaller pieces.  We prefer the taste of whole tomatoes but puree or diced tomatoes may be used.

Stew at low heat uncovered on the stove top for six hours.  The stew will thicken and water may need to be added.  Also stir and scrape the bottom to make sure it does not burn or stick.

This may also be cooked in a covered crock pot or in a covered Dutch oven in the oven at 300F like our pot roast.  Slow cooked in a covered pot it needs less attention and may be left while you work or overnight.  You may wish to cook the last hour uncovered to thicken, if necessary.

Variations

1) If you would like to add potatoes, add during the last hour of cooking to cook them.  If the stew is to be frozen, don't add potatoes until after thawing.  Potatoes get mushy when frozen.

2)The key to tenderizing stew beef is to cook for more than 6 hours in an acidic sauce.  The above recipe uses tomato-based sauce.  Other acidic sauces can be tried.  Beer or wine diluted with a little broth or water works well.  Cider vinegar can be added to broth to acidify.  Pineapple juice is a good tenderizer as it is acidic and contains enzymes that tenderize meat.

 

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