- Difficulty: Very easy
- Prep time: 20 min
- Cook time: 140 min
- Serving: 4 people
- Cost: Average
- Note EDITOR'S NOTE: follow the instructions on the recipe card for the dose of broth to use
When considering Sunday lunch, there are so many traditional recipes that choosing an actual favorite is an impossible task. Some are indissolubly bound with lasagna or cannelloni while for others it's a tough choice between Neapolitan ragout and Bolognese sauce. However, there is no hesitation when it comes to second courses: beef stew emerges triumphant! Its slow cooking, coupled with few and essential aromas, are what make it so good: it is a recipe loved by everyone. Just like all recipes of the past it requires a lot of patience to make it well. So, all you'll have to do is place the casserole on the stove and forget about it: in the meantime you can turn your attention to preparing a few flavorsome side dishes like some morish and genuine roast vegetables. Enjoy the beef stew, for a truly special Sunday lunch.
How to prepare Beef stew
To prepare beef stew, start by heating a saucepan with the meat stock and leave hot (you'll need around 4.4 - 5.5 lb but can prepare it in abundance and always freeze what you won't use). In the meantime, clean the celery, carrot and onion; finely chop the vegetables into 0.2-0.25 inch cubes 1. Tie the thyme, sage and rosemary with a piece of cooking twine 2. Lastly, cut the meat into 1.6 - 2 inch sized cubes 3.
Heat the butter and oil in a casserole 4. As soon as the bottom is hot, add the finely chopped celery, carrot and onion and leave to flavor on a low flame for around ten minutes; you can add a little hot stock if necessary 5. Once the vegetables have thoroughly sweated, add the meat 6,
turn up the flame and cook the contents thoroughly for ten minutes or so, add salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle with flour and leave to toast for a couple of minutes: be very careful not to burn it, so stir frequently 7. Add the red wine, simmer and reduce 8, then add the bouquet garni and cover with the hot beef stock 9.
Cover with a lid and leave to cook on a medium flame for at least 2 hours; be sure to stir occasionally and check to see whether more meat stock needs to be added, so that it doesn't become too dry 10. Once cooked, remove the bouquet garni 11 and make sure the beef stew is salted to taste. Now all you need to do is serve your beef stew 12!
Beef stew can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
If you prefer and if you have used very fresh ingredients, you could even freeze the stew once cooked.
For an even heartier stew you could add potatoes and peas, to satisfy even the hungriest of diners! Shoulder and chuck are the ideal beef cuts, as they are rich in fat veining that dissolve during cooking, making the meat very soft. If you want, you can replace red wine with a nice fruity or spicy beer. Everyone knows that stew is even more delicious the day after...all the more reason to prepare a little extra!