Stew is one of those old fashioned comfort foods that most people grow up having strong feelings about. I have always loved the flavor of slow cooked or roasted vegetables in a flavorful sauce - especially with a crusty bun to sop up the juices with. The nice thing about a meal such as this is that it's a great meal to make ahead and tastes better every time it gets re-heated. Much like soup. I got my stew beef recipe from my mom who always made it on the stove. My friend, Doris told me that she makes hers in the roaster in the oven and I liked that idea because you can pretty well ignore it once it's in the oven. So, go ahead and try this recipe, either in a large pot on your stove, in your Dutch oven, or roaster in your oven.
- 1 1/2 - 2 pounds stewing beef
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 - 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- good shake of pepper
- 2 tablespoons flour if cooking in the oven
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 small sweet pepper, chopped
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 2-3 potatoes, cubed
- ½ large head of cabbage, chopped
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2-3 heaping tablespoon tomato paste mixed with 1 cup water OR
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 1 bay leaf
If cooking on stove top:
- Trim and cut stewing beef into small, bite size pieces. Brown in oil, cooking and stirring as needed, for about ten minutes or until juices are gone. Add seasonings.
- Once the meat is browned and begins to sizzle, add onion and stir, cooking until onion is soft.
- Add water to cover beef and let simmer for about an hour. Add more water as needed to make sure it's cooking in a bit of liquid. Lid should be on with room for steam to escape.
- Add all of the vegetables, except for the peas.
- Mix tomato paste with 1 cup water and pour over the vegetables. Add bay leaf. Cook for another hour. Stir as needed and make sure there is always some liquid at the bottom.
- Add peas for last 15 minutes of cooking. Adding a flour/water mixture to thicken juices is optional.
If cooking in the oven:
- Spray Dutch Oven or roasting pan with cooking spray.
- Trim and cut beef into small bite size pieces. Put in roaster.
- Sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika and flour to coat lightly. Drizzle with a little olive oil, stir. Roast open at 400° F for ½ hour.
- Add chopped vegetables, tomato sauce and bay leaf. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Cover with lid and bake another 1 ½ hours, adding peas near the end.
- You may want to check it in between to see if there is enough liquid to your liking. Add more water if you like it runnier.