Oven-Braised Beef Stew Made With Beef Chuck
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 105 mins
Total: 2 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
2-3 lb boneless beef chuck (cut into cubes)
1 lb potatoes (peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks)
Carrots (peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces)
Celery (chopped into 1-inch pieces)
Onion (peeled roughly chopped)
3 cloves garlic (peeled and smashed)
2 tbs tomato paste
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 tbs vegetable oil (e.g. canola)
3 cups beef stock (or broth)
1/2 cup frozen peas (thawed)
3 tbs flour
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tbs chopped fresh parsley
Salt (to taste)
Black pepper (to taste)
Steps to Make It
Pre-heat oven to 300 F.
Pat any excess moisture from the meat with clean paper towels. This will help achieve a nice dark brown sear on it.
Season the meat generously with Kosher salt.
In a heavy, cast-iron Dutch oven or brazier, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is really hot, add the beef and brown it thoroughly on all sides. Don't overcrowd the pan. Work in batches if necessary. When a rich brown crust has developed on all sides of the beef, remove it from the pan and set it aside.
Lower the heat to medium, add the onions to the pot and sauté for 5 minutes or so, or until they turn slightly soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the flour to form a thin paste. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring throughout.
Now slowly pour in the stock, gently scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze.
Return the browned beef to the pot along with the tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce. Heat on the stovetop until the liquid comes to a boil, then add the bay leaf and dried herbs, cover with a tight-fitting lid and transfer the whole thing to the oven. Let the meat braise in the oven for one hour.
Add the potatoes, carrots, and celery, recover the pot and return it to the oven for another 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Transfer the pot to the stovetop. Remove the lid and simmer for another 15 minutes or until the stew is thickened.
Stir in the peas, adjust seasoning with Kosher salt and black pepper, and serve right away, garnished with the chopped parsley.
Don't bother with the so-called "stew meat" you see at the store sometimes. Instead, get yourself a 2-pound slab of beef chuck and cut it into cubes yourself. It'll be cheaper, and fresher (cut-up meat spoils more quickly than a single big piece), and you'll know it's chuck (versus the generic "stew meat" which could be anything).
For the potatoes, go for low-starch ones, such as Yukon golds, red-skinned potatoes, or white round potatoes.