My Year By Design

The journey to living by design.

Winter-Warmer Beef Stew


Nothing is better after an afternoon of snow shoveling than warm, rich beef stew. This is my go-to recipe but you can substitute and add things as much as you like. There really is no right way to make stew.


  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
  • 1.5 kg well-marbled stewing beef cut in 1-inch (2.5 cm cubes)
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) butter
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 10 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) dry red wine or some kind of juice (I used cranberry as that’s what I had.)
  • 450 g mini white potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
  • 3 large carrots, cut in 1 1/2-inch thick (4 cm) chunks (halve bigger pieces)
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 6 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups (750 mL) sodium-reduced beef broth
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) frozen peas


I started by washing and chopping up my veggies for quick cooking later on.


In large bowl, I whisked the flour, salt and pepper together and then tossed it with beef to coat.


In my Dutch oven, I heated 2 tbsp of the butter and the oil over medium heat. I worked in small batches, cooking the beef until it was browned, about 20 minutes total. Using slotted spoon, I remove ed the beef to bowl and set it aside.


Using slotted spoon, I removed the beef to bowl and set it aside.


I added the remaining butter to Dutch oven and cooked the celery, mushrooms and onion over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.


I added the tomato paste and cooked it, stirring, for 2 minutes. Doing this removes the tinned flavour from the paste.


The I added the cranberry juice, stirring and scraping up browned bits, for about 2 minutes.


At this point I had to move my stew from the Dutch oven to a larger pot as I ran out of room. The moral of the story is to use a large Dutch oven or stew pot! I returned the beef and the juices in the bowl to the pot. I added the potatoes, carrots, thyme, parsley and bay leaves.


I stirred in the broth and the Worcestershire sauce. I brought it to a boil, stirring occasionally to loosen any remaining browned bits from bottom.


I covered and braised the stew in a 350 F (180 C) oven for 45 minutes. Then I uncovered it and continued to cook it until the vegetables were tender and the beef offered no resistance when pierced with tip of knife, about 30 to 40 minutes. I stirred in the frozen peas and cooked for 5 more  minutes.


There was a little fat on the surface so I skimmed it off and let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Nick and I had been smelling delicious stew for hours so we dove right in and I didn’t even take a picture of our finished bowls! Ah well, I can assure you it was delicious.



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