This skillet beef stew is made even better when topped with homemade cheddar biscuits. You can easily swap out the beef for ground turkey if you prefer. When buying cheddar, color isn’t an indicator of flavor—white, orange, and yellow taste the same. Instead, pay attention to the sharpness. Mild cheddar contains the most moisture and melts the best, making it a good choice for baked goods, grilled cheese, or mac and cheese. Sharp cheddar is aged longer for a tangier punch, but it has less moisture, so it’s not ideal for melting.
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef sirloin
1 (14-oz.) pkg. frozen pearl onions, thawed
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon minced garlic (from 1 garlic clove)
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 (12-oz.) pkg. frozen peas and carrots, thawed
3 cups beef stock
2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups shredded mild Cheddar cheese
1 cup whole buttermilk
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 450°F. Heat a large (12-inch) cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add lean ground beef sirloin. Cook, breaking up and stirring with a wooden spoon, until well browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add pearl onions, fresh thyme leaves, minced garlic, black pepper, and 3⁄4 tsp. kosher salt, and stir until combined. Cook until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, and sprinkle with all-purpose flour. Cook, stirring often, until well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add peas and carrots; stir to combine. Stir in beef stock; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until thickened, 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together self-rising flour and 1 tsp. kosher salt in a large bowl. Using your hands, work unsalted butter into mixture until it clumps together and becomes pea-size pieces. Stir in 1 cup shredded mild Cheddar cheese. Stir in whole buttermilk just until incorporated.
Using a 1⁄4-cup ice-cream scoop, drop biscuit dough directly on top of stew, leaving about 1⁄2 inch of space between biscuits. Sprinkle top with 1⁄2 cup shredded mild Cheddar cheese.
Place skillet on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake in preheated oven until biscuits are browned and flaky, 20 to 22 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes, and serve.