Hearty beef stew

Gin Lee

Hearty homemade beef stewVirginia Watkins

What's better than a bowl of soup? A bowl of homemade hearty beef stew; that's thickened to your preference.

Sometimes when I plan to make this recipe, I prefer to have my butcher do the meat preparation for me (selecting the perfect meat cuts, cutting the meat in chunks, cutting off all the fat, bones, etc), simply because it saves me a little bit of time. However, other times I select nice thick, lean steaks and do this all myself. When making a stew; always try to get the best quality of meat for it. This happens to make a big difference in the stew's desired outcome. There is nothing worse than biting into a cut of meat that's chewy and tough to eat, especially when the meat is the top ingredient of a dish; as it is with this recipe.

And since the flavor is what this hearty beef stew is about; I like adding in a couple of tablespoons of a thick tomato paste. Don't worry, it doesn't steal the thunder away from the meat cuts! Alternatively, you can choose to leave the tomato paste out, if tomatoes are not your thing.


  • 2 pounds of a good quality stew meat, can be beef, venison, buffalo, or bison
  • ¼ cup of flour, and one tablespoon and a half extra for the gravy
  • 4 cups of beef stock, or vegetable stock, reserve one cup (1 cup will be used to thicken up the broth)
  • 1 teaspoon spoon of seasoning salt
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • About 4 teaspoons of canola oil (to brown the stew meat), and about one tablespoon separate for the gravy (to be used to thicken the broth)
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 large onion, diced (I prefer red onions, however, you can use another variety.)
  • 4-6 fresh carrots, chopped or sliced
  • 5 potatoes, diced (I use russet potatoes for the stew because they are firm and they don't turn mushy when you reheat the stew.)
  • Optional: 2 bay leaves


Using a paper bag, or large ziplock bag add the flour, stew meat, and seasonings in, seal the bag (if using a paper bag, just fold the top of the bag down) and then shake the bag to coat the meat well.

Add 4 teaspoons of the oil to a large skillet. Once the oil is hot, add in the beef. Cook, until the beef is browned well on all sides, about 8 minutes. You may add more oil if it's needed.

Once the meat has all been cooked, take it out of the skillet. Place the cooked stew meat in a large-capacity crockpot, place the lid on; but don't turn the crockpot on yet.

Next, in the same skillet, take a wooden spoon, scrape the browned bits, add 1 tablespoon of oil, and 1 ½ tablespoon of self-rising flour; stir well and let the flour brown. Slowly stir in a cup of beef stock, or vegetable stock; stirring constantly until the gravy has thickened. This only takes a few minutes. Once this is done, take the skillet off the heat and add this mixture to the crockpot. Combine the gravy (broth) mix with the stew meat. Next, add the rest of the beef broth, or vegetable broth, and add tomato paste to the crockpot. Now, turn the temperature of the crockpot on the medium setting. At this point, you can add in a few bay leaves if desired.

Cover and cook, stir the stew meat and broth occasionally. Cook until the beef becomes more tender, for about one hour. Add the onions, carrots, and potatoes and simmer until vegetables are tender, about an hour and thirty minutes more (or until fork tender). Add more broth or water if the stew needs more, and taste to see if you may need to add additional seasoning salt and pepper. If the broth needs to be thickened; take a few spoonfuls of it out and place in a separate pan, add a little more flour to it, stirring constantly till it thickens. Then add the gravy (broth) back into the crockpot and stir well.

Serve in bowls, alongside your favorite rolls.

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