Cold Weather Cooking: Basic Beef Stew Recipe

We're not even sure we should call this a "recipe" because making beef stew is not a very specific thing. Not in our minds, at least. We think everyone should just use the amounts and types of beef cuts, liquids, vegetables, and seasonings they prefer.

North of Nowhere Farm whole-heartedly endorses the practice of making and eating healthy homemade beef stew - especially in the winter months or when you're battling a cold - so below are our Basic Beef Stew "general guidelines". 

grassfed beef browning in a skillet on a stovetop with a North of Nowhere Farm tote bag in the background   Chopped onion and carrots on a cutting board.  ladle of beef stew with carrots, potatoes, beef and peas above a simmering pot of stew

  1. Brown the meat.
    • Combine about ¼ cup flour and ¼ tsp each salt and pepper in a bowl, then add beef cut into 1” cubes and toss to coat.
    • Add the beef to a skillet in which vegetable oil has been heated. Brown the beef on all sides. If it takes multiple batches to brown all of the meat, add oil as needed between batches.
  1. Add liquids, transfer to a pot and cook the meat over medium-high heat.
    • Add liquids to the skillet: a splash of red wine vinegar, a cup of red wine (or is that just me?), and 3 to 4 cups of beef broth or bone broth. Scrape the pan to loosen browned bits (that's good stuff, so don't skip this). Transfer the meat and liquids to a large pot. Toss in a couple of bay leaves, and any other herbs or seasonings you like. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 1.5 hours until the beef is tender.
  1. Add veggies. Simmer. Enjoy.
    • Add a chopped onion, several chopped carrots, and 2 or 3 large potatoes cut into cubes to the meat and broth mixture. You can add other veggies as well, such as peas, beans, celery, other root vegetables, etc. Simmer covered until the vegetables are tender (30-60 minutes). During this step, add more broth as needed, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into serving bowls. Feel healthier and warmer with the first spoonful.

Many thanks to Darla (Nordhagen) Larson for these photos taken recently while making beef stew at her home. We hope that you will comment with any variations that you personally like in the process or ingredients of stew-making. Cheers to nutritious eating that warms you up in the winter! 

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