Bay Leaf Beef Stew Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds beef stew meat: Cut into 1-inch cubes. Look for chuck roast or a similar well-marbled cut.
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup red wine (optional, but adds richness)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (for thickening, if desired)

Instructions:

  • Prep the beef: Toss the cubed beef with flour, salt, and pepper, ensuring even coating.
  • Brown the beef: Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Brown the beef in batches, without overcrowding the pot. Browning adds deeper flavor. Remove browned beef and set aside.
  • Sauté vegetables: Add onion to the pot and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute until fragrant.
  • Deglaze the pan: Pour in the red wine (if using) and scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. This will add tons of flavor to your stew.
  • Add liquids and seasonings: Add beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer.
  • Simmer the meat: Return beef to the pot. Cover and simmer for 1.5-2 hours, or until the meat is very tender.
  • Add vegetables: Add carrots, potatoes, and celery. Continue simmering for another 30-45 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the stew has thickened slightly.
  • Thicken (optional): If you prefer a thicker stew, whisk together cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water. Remove bay leaves. Stir in cornstarch mixture and simmer for a minute or two more until the stew has thickened to your desired consistency.
  • Finish and serve: Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed. Serve hot with crusty bread, mashed potatoes, or rice for a hearty and comforting meal.

Tips:

For a slow cooker version: After browning the beef, simply add all ingredients (except for the cornstarch mixture) to your slow cooker. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.
Don’t forget to remove the bay leaves before serving!
Make it your own: Add other hearty vegetables like mushrooms or parsnips to your liking.

Enjoy your delicious and flavorful bay leaf beef stew!

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