When I think of stews, I think of braised meats, beans, lentils, simmering over a low flame for hours on the stove with herbs, aromatics, and vegetables. The scent wafts through the entire kitchen, into the other living spaces, up the stairs, and even out the windows to the point where someone says "wow, do you smell that?" That, to me, is what I love about cooking. The immediate gratification your senses get when someone is making something so delicious you can smell it from the outside, you know it's gonna be good. This beef stew literally does just that: it entices you to want to eat the entire thing in one sitting. The earthy flavors of the herbs and spices, tenderness of the stewed beef, the delicate texture of the simmered vegetables, in a sauce that is almost good enough to drink. It's beef stew season, and I am so here for it.
The idea of stew is said to have originated way before there was even a thing as a pot or a pan. Prehistoric men would use other tools such as stomach linings or shells found on land to stew liquids. Stew comes from the word "estuve" in Old French, which translates to the term we know here in America. A stew is the main course, and is usually a liquid base with a variety of other ingredients such as meats, vegetables, over a flame on the stove to sit and - well - stew, for several hours. You can read more about the etymology of the term here.
Making beef stew only employs the use of one large stock pot, but I prefer a dutch oven. Once you get all the ingredients into the pot, turn it on to a low summer for a few hours, it works its glorious magic. Feel free to sit back and watch reruns of The Office while your entire home fills with the delectable smells makings its way from the kitchen to your nostrils. I promise you, no matter if you are a beef stew novice or aficionado, the smell will lure you each and every time.
If I think hard enough about the smell that comes from a beef stew sitting on the stove, I can almost taste it. This will easily become your go-to recipe and meal on those cold, wintry days. The best part? It freezes very well. Make enough for another day, and you're set!
Sit back, relax, and let this classic beef stew do all the work. Comforting, cozy, and packed with delicious flavor, beef stew is a go-to recipe, especially in the winter months. Pour a glass of your favorite red, turn on some tunes, and feast.
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