Aunt Joyce’s Beef Stew….Comfort in a Bowl

If you have been following my blog over the last year, you have figured out that my favorite foods are usually served in a bowl…the perfect vessel for delicious brothy bites!  One of my favorite recipes is actually probably one of the simplest…Beef Stew.  Although I have tried many other recipes with wonderfully exotic ingredients, I keep coming back to this one with a few “shortcuts” because it truly turns out perfectly every time.

Aunt Joyce's Beef Stew
Aunt Joyce’s Beef Stew

This particular beef stew recipe was given to me right after I got married (29 years ago this weekend) by my mother-in-law’s twin sister, Joyce Self.  Aunt Joyce, much like her sister, is an excellent cook and I have gotten several great ideas from her over the years but this one is my favorite because not only does it taste so good, you don’t even have to brown the beef!  It is truly simple cooking at it’s best!  Although, I have tweaked it a little bit over the years just because our taste buds have developed a little need for some extra spice, it is still close to its original version.  So here is my version of Aunt Joyce’s Beef Stew!

Aunt Joyce’s Beef Stew

 

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 to 3 lbs, chuck roast
  • 1 tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 4-5 cups of golden potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 2 cups carrots (use more if you like but I’m not a huge fan; I use the precut baby carrots)
  • 1 can of tomato soup
  • 1 packet of beef stew seasoning mix (I prefer McCormick)
  • 6-8 cups of water (depends on how thick you prefer your stew…I usually start with 6 then add as needed while cooking)
  • 2-3 cups of frozen lima beans
  • 2-3 cups of frozen white shoepeg corn
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes (I usually use 1 quart of tomatoes that I have frozen or canned from the summer)
  • Seasonings to taste:  salt, pepper, parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, red pepper flakes (I start with a teaspoon and taste from there)
  • One bundle of fresh thyme

Note:  You notice this is a “loose” recipe because the amount of meat and vegetables you use, will affect the amount of water you use which in the end affects the spices so the key is to taste, and taste again…you can’t screw this up, I promise!

Directions

Lower the rack in your oven to the bottom third and preheat to 350 degrees.

Cut your beef into large cubes, removing the fat; season with salt and set aside.

Beautiful cut of beef chuck roast
Beautiful cut of beef chuck roast
Sliced into cubes and seasoned with salt
Sliced into cubes and seasoned with salt

In a large oven safe dutch oven, I always use my favorite ceramic cast iron Le Crueset dutch oven, heat your olive oil.  Add in the onion and season with a little salt.  Saute onions on low heat until tender.

Love the smell of those onions sautéing!
Love the smell of those onions sautéing!

Add in your beef…

Beef added to the onions in the pot
Beef added to the onions in the pot

then your potatoes…

Now, the potatoes
Now, the potatoes

your carrots…

and the carrots
and the carrots..I’m not a huge carrot fan but I throw them in there for Jeff and because it looks prettier!

and your tomato soup.

tomato soup added
tomato soup added

Add in your tomatoes and stir mixture well.

And then your tomatoes and stir well
And then your tomatoes and stir well

Next add in your beef stew seasoning and 6-7 cups of water (Add the remaining water as needed throughout the cooking process…you don’t want to start with too much because you want the broth to have a chance to thicken)

Beef Stew Mix going in
Beef Stew Mix going in
Add in your water and stir well
Add in your water and stir well

 

Finally, add in the lima beans, corn, and your seasonings; stir well.   (Again I start with a teaspoon of each and adjust throughout the cooking process.)  Top it with your thyme bundle.

Ready to go in the oven
Ready to go in the oven

 Place the lid on top.  Put in the oven and cook for approximately 3/12 to 4 hours or until potatoes and carrots are tender.  Leave it alone the first hour and then stir every half hour after that.  Your house will smell amazing!

This is what it looked like after about 2 hours of cooking...getting there but still needs to cook and thicken a  couple of more hours
This is what it looked like after about 2 hours of cooking…getting there but still needs to cook and thicken a couple of more hours

Serve with your favorite corn bread and if you aren’t comforted, you can’t be helped…ha, ha!

A bowl full of comfort!
A bowl full of comfort!

Bottom Line:  Yes, there are more sophisticated recipes out there and I will try more from time to time.  But, when I want true comfort and warm memories (I actually got to cook this for my late grandmother, Memaw, once..a cherished memory), this is the recipe I will come back to every time.  I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as mine…..we actually fight over the leftovers!  I am Chef Frankie and until next time….”Keep Cooking with Love and Wild Abandon”!

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Comment on “Aunt Joyce’s Beef Stew….Comfort in a Bowl

  1. Reblogged this on reciperealities and commented:

    On this chilly, rainy day here in East Tennessee, I thought I would share a former post on my favorite beef stew recipe that is on our menu tonight! My house smells amazing as it cooks and it is a must try in your kitchen!

    Like

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