My husband and I are huge fans of the cold weather — especially the food! There’s nothing like comforting flavors of hearty potatoes, stewed vegetables and fresh meat. While the weather outside isn’t exactly frightful, we decided to get in the holiday spirit with a tried-and-true stew recipe.
This stew is perfect for a cozy night in for two, or make more for a lively get together with friends. The secret ingredient? The beef. Subpar beef will yield a less-than-stellar stew. We went with grass-fed chuck roast from the Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative, a group of small-scale farmers committed to supplying the highest-quality meats that are sustainably raised right here in Arkansas. We signed up for an annual share of the cooperative’s grass-fed beef, pastured chicken and forested pork, and we’ve loved it. Our support keeps money within Arkansas’ local food economy, and the product is superior to what we find at the grocery store. Plus, Grass Roots delivers right to our front door – something our local grocer doesn’t do!
This beef stew recipe calls for stout beer, an ingredient that brings bitterness from the hops, sweetness from the grain and a roasted flavor. I like to double the recipe and freeze portion-sized packets for snow days and quick dinners. Here’s how to make your own winter beef stew:
Winter Beef Stew Recipe
- 1 ½ pounds grass-fed beef chuck roast
- 3 pounds red potatoes
- 2 pounds carrots
- 1 large onion (or 2 cups once chopped)
- 6 garlic cloves
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 cup Stout beer
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups water
- 4 cups beef stock or broth
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- Thyme, bay leaves (no more than 2) to your taste
- Salt and pepper on hand
Mise En Place
Cut beef, carrots and potatoes into chunks. The best way to determine size is to use a soup spoon and put in on the cutting board. Your spoon and mouth are the best measurements for stew meat and vegetables.
Pat beef dry and sprinkle with salt.
Mix all liquid, tomato paste, thyme and bay leaves together and set aside.
Add some, not all, olive oil to a large dutch oven or stock pot. Just enough to cover the bottom.
Heat on medium-high heat.
Place beef chunks into heated dutch oven. Leave room for moisture to escape around each piece. Brown all sides. Remove and set aside. Repeat until all beef is browned.
Add garlic to oil and beef drippings and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add liquid mixture to dutch oven. Simmer for one hour.
In another pot, melt butter and sauté vegetables until golden, about 15 minutes.
Return beef to liquid mixture. Add vegetables. Remove bay leaves and cook for 30-40 minutes more.
Serve in a hearty bowl. We love grilling French bread with butter to serve with soups and stews.