Beef Stew 1999 Edition

Now that it's finally beginning to feel like Winter, one of my go-to recipes to make on the weekends is my future mother-in-law's famous beef stew. It was one of the many recipes that Sam has raved about since we began dating. So, about two years ago, once I figured that I'd be sticking around for awhile, I decided that it was about time to master the recipe once and for all. Now, lord only knows why it took me that long to finally share it on the blog but, one thing is for sure - this one's a crowd pleaser. I made this beef stew for the first Friendsgiving that Sam and I hosted at our home, at which time the entire batch was devoured within minutes by our guests. No spoonful left behind. Since then, it has been my go-to, no-fail recipe for hosting at home or simply making a nice weeknight dinner that I know will have Sam feeling spoiled. 

This homemade beef stew has been adapted from the March 1999 Bon Appetit magazine, Family style in the 90's edition. Over the past 5 years that I've been eating it, whether Sam's mom's batch or mine, I haven't seen or tried anything comparable. That's when you know it's a good one. I do recommend making this homemade beef stew on a weekend, when you're not rushed or busy with plans, however. This recipe requires a lot of love and attention but, I promise you it's worth it in the end. Plus, if you're just making it for you and your spouse, you'll have easy leftovers that you can simply heat-up for dinner for at least a week.

The past few days, I have been feeling under the weather, which is particularly unlike me. At the start, I had shrugged it off as the after effect of a long, exciting weekend. However, after two sleepless, cold-sweat covered nights, blinding headaches, and one super frightening dream about Oliver caused by overdoing it with the NyQuil, I have come to accept that I must be catching something. It's that and the fact that it got down to 13 degrees here the other night, that I'm currently craving warm soup and stew only. This homemade beef stew is the epitome of comfort food for me. From the first spoonful to the very last bowl, this recipe makes me feel all cozy and warm inside. And I think you should feel that way too.

P.S. - that's your cue to start cookin'. 

(Makes 6 servings)

  • 4 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 4 thick-sliced bacon strips, chopped
  • 3 cups finely chopped onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 1/2 cups canned beef broth
  • 14 1/2-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree
  • 6 medium carrots, peeled, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

How to: 

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Pat beef dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat oil in heavy large ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. 
  2. Working in batches, cook beef until brown, stirring occasionally and scraping up browned bits, about 8 minutes. Transfer meat to bowl. 
  3. Add bacon to same pot. Saute until crisp, scraping up browned bites. Add onions, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. Cover and cook until onions are tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Return beef and any accumulated juices to pot.
  4. Add 5 cups canned beef broth and crushed tomatoes with puree. Cover and bring to simmer. 
  5. Transfer pot to oven. Bake until beef is just tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Add carrots. Cover; bake until carrots are crisp-tender, about 30 minutes. Uncover; bake until beef is very tender, about 25 minutes. 
  6. Whisk remaining 1/2 cup canned beef broth and cornstarch in small bowl to blend. Remove pot from oven. Bring stew to simmer over medium heat on stove top. Gradually stir cornstarch mixture into stew. Return stew to simmer, stirring until sauce thickens. Serve warm with fresh bread. 

I hope that you enjoyed this recipe for my Homemade Beef Stew 1999 edition. Don't forget to hashtag #lifestylebyannaelizabeth and tag us in your finished photo to get a chance to have it featured on our Instagram page!

XO Anna Elizabeth