Beef Stew Recipe
Beef stew is the benevolent king of all stews. Familiar yet never tiresome, chunks of tender beef and potatoes in rich brown gravy will always bring comfort and joy to our tables. Little things are what elevate a good stew to become a great one. Taking time to sear the beef is integral to flavor in both the meat and the gravy, as is letting it simmer low and slow until the beef is spoon-tender. Busy cooks might be tempted to purchase packages of so-called stew meat at the market, but it pays to follow this recipe and take a few minutes to cut up an economical chuck roast. Stew meat is a mixture of scraps left over when a butcher trims a range of cuts to go in the meat case, and these random pieces won’t cook the same way or finish at the same time. The uniformity of a well-marbled chuck roast yields consistent results and the best flavor. Originally, this recipe called for the stew to be cooked in a wok, which was trendy at the time. We prefer using a Dutch oven because it provides a large, flat surface to properly brown the meat.