An easy meal for chilly fall nights, beef stew traditionally contains bite-size pieces of beef, potatoes, carrots and onion. Stewing involves cooking food in liquid until the meat and vegetables are tender and the liquid reduces and thickens. Beef stew is easy to make because it requires minimal monitoring and is very difficult to overcook. Two short cuts -- searing the meat and using a thickening agent -- will help develop flavour and speed up cooking time.
Trim the excess fat from a 454 - 907g. chuck roast. Cut the meat into 1-inch pieces.
Mix 1 cup flour and 1 tsp salt in a bowl. Coat the meat in the flour and set aside.
Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a sauté pan at medium-high heat.
Sear the meat in the oil until all sides are browned. Turn the meat occasionally with kitchen tongs. You do not need to cook the meat completely -- searing the meat with increase the flavour and speed up the stewing process.
Remove the meat from the sauté pan and place in a large stock pot. Drain the oil from the sauté pan, but do not scrape the browned meat pieces from the bottom of the pan. Set the pan aside for later use.
Fill the stock pot with 6 cups of beef broth and bring to a simmer.
Pour 1 cup of beef broth into the used sauté pan. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the browned meat pieces from the bottom of the pan. Pour the broth into the stock pot when the sauté pan is clean.
Add 1 cup carrots, 1 cup chopped celery, 1 cup chopped potato, 1 cup chopped onion, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tsp dried thyme, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper and 2 bay leaves to the stock pot.
Simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the vegetables are tender and the meat is completely cooked. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon.
Mix 1 tbsp flour and 2 tbsp water. Add the flour mixture to the stew after it has simmered for 1 hour. Stir the flour mixture into the stew until it is completely dissolved.
Check the tenderness of the vegetables with a fork. Add 1/2 cup frozen green peas to the stew once the vegetables can be pierced with the fork.
Cook the stew for an additional 10 minutes after adding the peas, and then remove the pot from the stove.
Remove the bay leaves before serving.
Store the leftover stew in plastic storage containers for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator or freeze up to 3 months. When cooking, the meat should reach a minimum internal temperature of 62.8 degrees C, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Use caution when handling the hot oil and pans.