A deliciously seasoned, very easy to do, beef stew. No browning necessary. The flavour is good enough for company!! Use your oven timer, if necessary. Or put it in your slow cooker for 8 – 10 hours.
1 – 2 pounds lean beef stew beef, cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch cubes
4 small onions, peeled and quartered ( can use a larger one cut in 8 wedges)
– see note re onions below
4 medium carrots, sliced – about 2 cups
2 – 3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes – about 3 cups
2 medium turnips or 1 small rutabaga, peeled and cut into cubes – optional
– about 2 cups
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon celery seeds – don’t leave out, adds great flavour!!
1 teaspoon dried leaf thyme or oregano or marjarom – or fresh sprigs!
1 – 2 teaspoons salt – to taste (depends on salt in beef broth)
1/2 – 1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
1 1/2 cups (398 ml. can) tomato sauce
1 ½ cups beef broth plus a bit more if need to thin stew at end
½ – 1 cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup quick-cooking tapioca – makes great gravy!!
Preheat oven to 275°. In a large mixing bowl combine the beef (see note below) with all the vegetables. Season with the garlic, celery seeds, thyme, salt and pepper. In a small bowl combine the tomato sauce, beef broth, wine, mustard, brown sugar, and tapioca, stirring until blended and tapioca and brown sugar are dissolved. Add this mixture to the meat and vegetables; stir well to blend. Transfer the stew to an oven-safe Dutch oven or large casserole. There should be enough liquid to just cover the ingredients. Cover and cook 5 hours. This stew reheats well. Add a little beef broth if necessary.
Makes 6 servings.
1. If you have time: In a large preheated skillet, pour a thin film of oil in pan and heat on medium-high to high heat. Dry beef cubes on paper towel for best browning. In small batches, quickly brown beef cubes over as high a heat as you can. Do not crowd the pieces or they will simply stew and not brown. Remove to large casserole. Add onion and cook and stir for a few minutes to brown. Continue with recipe. All of this browning and caramelization adds wonderful flavour to the stew.
2. Adding raw onions to a recipe like this can add quite a strong “onion” flavour to the whole dish. Therefore, I usually sauté onions lightly in a little oil before adding them for a more mellow onion flavour. Pouring boiling water over them for a few minutes, then draining, also works and is quicker.