I love comfort food – especially on a crisp, fall evening. We don’t have a lot of those days in Houston, Texas. But, when we do, I take advantage of it by cooking a warm, comforting stew. And, sometimes when it’s hot outside and I’m in need of a good comfort meal, I pretend like it’s cool outside, crank the A/C down on low and cook it anyway. For us, beef stew with cornbread is the the ultimate comfort food.
I made my first beef stew right after Hurricane Rita. Thankfully, we dodged the storm here in Houston, but so much of our family in Southeast Texas were not as fortunate. Without power and many with damage to their homes, they headed our way for shelter and comfort. On their first night in Houston, I decided to cook them the best comfort food I could – Beef Stew. My first stew was decent but I’ve worked to perfect it over the years. This is my current recipe, but it still constantly evolves. And, I encourage you to make it your own; add the vegetables your family loves and enjoy. You really can’t mess this stew up. I hope it “comforts” your family as much as it does mine.
The Best Beef Stew
- 2 lbs Stew Beef, cubed
- 3 tbsp All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tbsp Kosher Salt
- 1 1/2 tsp freshly ground Pepper
- 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1 medium Onion, diced
- 4 cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp Chili Powder
- 2 tbsp Cumin
- 1 tbsp Dried Oregano
- 16 oz. Mushrooms, sliced
- 28 oz. can of Rotel
- 2 cups Tomato Puree
- 32 oz. Low Sodium Beef Stock
- 2 White Potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 1/2 cups Frozen Corn
- Salt to taste
- Step 1 Pat the cubed beef dry with paper towels and place in a gallon size plastic bag. Add the flour, salt and pepper. Close the bag and shake it up to allow the beef to be coated with the flour and the seasoning distributed throughout the meat.
- Step 2 Add the oil to a Dutch oven over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the beef in small batches, turning to brown each side. Once brown, remove to a plate, add an additional batch until all the meat is brown.
- Step 3 Then, add the onion and saute, scraping up the brown bits on the pan. Once the onions have a bit of color, add the mushrooms and garlic. Continue to scrape up the bits from the pan adding a bit of beef stock needed in order to deglaze.
- Step 4 Once the mushrooms have cooked down a bit, add the Rotel, tomato puree, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and the remaining beef stock.
- Step 5 Stir well and cook covered on low heat for about an hour to an hour an a half until the beef is extremely tender. Then, add the diced potatoes and corn. Cook an additional 20 minutes until potatoes are tender.
- Step 6 Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
- Step 7 –In my experience, people’s taste buds vary greatly in what is an acceptable an necessary amount of salt. I like my food highly seasoned. For instance, if cooking only for me, I would add ground Cayenne Pepper to this stew, but I know that is not for everyone. So, I recommend tasting the stew as it gets closer to completion and adding salt, pepper and other spices/seasoning as you see fit for your family. As I said earlier, you can’t go wrong with this stew. Add the ingredients that are comforting and tasty for your family and enjoy!