Beef Stew

IMG_1840Everyone probably has a recipe for beef stew. I’ve been tweaking mine for years, and I think I’ve finally settled on one that I plan to stick with. Something that really seem to work well is to treat it like a braise and do the bulk of the cooking in a 325 degree oven instead of on the stove top.

While the meat is braising in the oven, I like to cut up all the vegetables, season and sauté them, cooking them about half way. This blends the flavors and caramelizes some of the edges. I’ve also started adding a can of diced tomatoes to the liquid. And finally, I’m totally committed to using sirloin tips.


2 TBS olive oil
1 1/2 lbs sirloin tips, cut in bite sized pieces
2 C chicken broth
15 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
2 parsnips, large dice
2 onions, quartered
3 carrots, large dice
2 stalks celery(with leaves), large dice
3 0r 4 large mushrooms, quartered
1/2 of a butternut squash ( or turnip, or potatoes) cut in chunks
frozen peas ( about a cup)
salt, pepper, thyme, garlic powder, flour for dusting
splash of vinegar at the end to brighten flavors (optional)



1. Heat the oil in an ovenproof pan with a good cover. One suitable for braising.
2. Season the sirloin tips with salt and pepper and dust lightly with flour. Brown in the oil.
3. Add the broth and tomatoes to the browned meat and bring to a boil.
4. Cover the pot and place it in a 325 oven for 1 1/2 hours.
5. While the meat is cooking, chop the vegetables. Saute them in a little oil in a large frying pan. Season with salt, freshly ground pepper, garlic powder, and thyme. Amounts depend on what you like. I just add a few shakes of each. If my rosemary plant hadn’t been buried under two feet of snow, I would have added some minced fresh rosemary, but I don’t like dried rosemary, so I left it out.
6. After an hour and a half, remove the meat from the oven. Check to make sure that it’s tender. Add the vegetables to the pot. Stir well. Cover and return to the oven for another hour.
7. At this point, meat should be super tender and flavors should have blended. Add the frozen peas, stir and cover.
8. Taste for seasoning. You might need a bit more salt. Sometimes a small splash of vinegar or a squeeze of lemon goes a long way towards bringing flavors to life.



About Mary Jane

I am a retired English teacher. My husband, Frank, and I have lived on Cape Cod since 2000. I am a lifelong bread baker and writer and have been posting a blog on Falmouth Patch for the last few years. Savory Seasons has been largely devoted to recipes and food in general. I am hoping to expand my focus in this new blog.
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5 Responses to Beef Stew

  1. Looks and sounds delish!! I’ve never heard abt the splash of vinegar or lemon juice to brighten veggies at end?? I like the idea of cooking it in oven – can use my cast iron!

  2. You mentioned your Rosemary bush was buried under snow, does it survive outside over the winter? I didn’t think they were hardy here. I get so jealous when I go to Georgia and I find huge Rosemary plants, and I always have to rub my hands on it as I go by, just love the smell!

  3. Mary Jane says:

    Last year, the rosemary survived well into February, This year it’s buried under a pile of snow. Maybe the snow is acting as a blanket. We’ll see.
    As for the vinegar: just a tablespoon of balsamic for beef stew or sherry vinegar for chicken stew, Red wine vinegar for lentil soup. Sometimes it can really make a difference.

  4. just wanted to pop in and tell you that my husband made your Beef Stew today and it was so so delicious!!! Since he retired and I work full time, well I taught him some cooking skills and forward recipes to him. I’ve never put butternut squash in a soup before and absolutely love it! He added a couple of fresh tomatoes also – he likes to add fresh in everything. We added no thyme as it’s never been in my pantry and he didn’t know what it was. LOL Added no rosemary either, although I love fresh rosemary but he didn’t know where in the produce department to find it, so it was out. This recipe is def going in my cookbook for a future cook again, maybe with the rosemary next time and I’ll try that splash of vinegar. Keep Cooking Mary Jane!

  5. Mary Jane says:

    Really happy that you enjoyed it!!

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