I never thought I could improve my old fashioned beef stew recipe but it’s winter and that’s beef stew season. I’ve been making it a lot lately and decided to try and simplify the process and it’s now just as delicious and even easier to make. And by increasing the cooking time by just 1/2 hour the beef is so tender I just eat it with a spoon. So here’s what I changed:
First, I always make my own beef stock which I use in my stew but realizing that not everyone will make homemade stock, I decided to try the store-bought beef stock. I do not recommend it at all. It was way too strong and pungent and ruined the stew for me. So I decided to try store-bought chicken stock and it worked perfectly. I got Swanson’s Unsalted Chicken Stock and it was the perfect choice for beef stew.
And I used to dredge the meat before browning but it really isn’t necessary so that step is now eliminated. And I added 30 minutes to the cooking time and what a difference it makes in the fork-tender meat. It was tender before but now, it’s so tender you have to stir the pot carefully so the meat doesn’t fall apart! So it’s less work and an extra 1/2 hour but wait ’til you see the difference!
In working on these changes I also did some research on which meat to use since I always bought packaged stew meat. I saw that chuck roast was always the meat of choice so I bought one to try, cut in into cubes myself, and No, No, No! It had way too much fat and my recipe does not need it. The regular packaged stew meat is much leaner and there is never any grease floating on the top, because that’s what I got with the chuck roast.
So I’m staying with the packaged stew meat, which is much leaner, and I just cut off any visible fat. So now it’s even easier to make this all time favorite comfort food for the cold winter nights. It’s low fat, easy to make, and you can eat it with a spoon. For the new recipe and video, click here. – Jenny Jones