Friends, it is soooo sooo cold here in Toronto that all I literally want to do is lay in bed all day and hibernate. And when I say cold, I am talking like -20 degrees C (-4 degrees F) with the windchill, where the wind hurts your face and its like a mad dash to get into the car as fast as possible. I normally hate the cold, but this winter has been kicking our butts at a whole new level. With the cold comes the desire to cook meals that are hearty and filling and warming and oh so delicious. This kid friendly veggie packed beef stew does just that and may become your absolute fav stew ever.
I pack this stew full of various veggies so that the kids all have a favourite to choose from. My daughter is obsessed with potatoes, so naturally she eats the potatoes with the meat and sauce (with the occasional carrot that I slip in on her fork), while my son will eat all the veggies, except the potatoes. This kid friendly veggie packed stew has become a family favourite and is a breeze to put together as well. It’s my one pot wonder that is perfect for this time of year.
Our daughter Emma was born on a frigid cold day in December, 2 years ago and when we got home from the hospital this was the stew that my mom had prepared for us for our return. I still remember sitting at the kitchen table and saying that this was the best darn stew that I had ever had in my life. It was probably a combination of sleep deprivation, hormones and finally eating something homemade, but it still remains my favourite recipe to date. Which is funny, because 5 years ago I didn’t even eat red meat….oh how far I have come!
When making this recipe feel free to sub in as many additional veggies as you would like…the base are definitely potatoes and carrots, but I also add in parsnip, brussel sprouts and mushrooms if I really want to pack on the flavour and the veggie intake. Serve this on it’s own or with some crusty bread. I even serve this with a bit of rice for the kids and they seem to really enjoy it.
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- 2 to 3 pounds stewing beef (beef chuck, chuck shoulder, chuck roast etc.) cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, cut into chunks
- 5-6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 2 cups red wine
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 pound small baby potatoes, cut in half
- 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces (optional)
- 10-15 Brussels sprouts, cut in half
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F and set a rack in the lower position.
- Season your bite sized pieces of beef with plenty of salt and pepper.
- In a large dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Ensure that it is hot and then brown your meat in batches. You are just looking to brown the outside of the meat at the point so give it lots of space. Brown on each side and then place on a plate. Do this in several batches, adding more olive oil as necessary, until all of the meat has been browned.
- Next, add the onion, garlic, balsamic vinegar and cook stirring and scraping down the brown bits from the pan.
- Add the tomato paste and cook for a few more minutes.
- Add the beef,with its juices back to the pan and sprinkle the ¼ cup of flour evenly over the beef and stir so that the flour dissolves.
- Add the wine, beef, broth, water, bay leaf, thyme and sugar. Stir it all together so that it is nicely incorporated.
- Cover the pot with a lid, transfer to your oven and braise for 2 hours.
- After 2 hours, add the carrots, potatoes, parsnips and Brussels sprouts. Cover and place back in the oven for 1 to 1.5 hours more. You want the vegetables to be cooked through, the sauce/broth to be thickened and the meat to be fork tender.
- Serve the stew warm with crusty bread, or over rice. It tastes even better the next day so store it in the fridge and reheat again.
*Recipe has been just slightly adapted from Jennifer Segal’s Once Upon a Chef Beef Stew with Carrots & Potatoes