Tummy filling comfort food like this Oven Braised Beef Stew and cold weather are a match made in heaven. The magic in this beef stew begins on the stovetop by browning the flour dusted seasoned cubes of beef and then adding a heaping helping of celery, onion, carrots and golden potatoes. It’s finished in the oven where it will braise to tender perfection. A few sprigs of fresh thyme, bay leaves and seasonings marry with the red wine to become a rich full flavored broth perfect for serving with crusty bread or garlic bread for dipping. There’s comfort in each bite.
The robust flavor of beef stew actually shines when using a less expensive cut of meat. I sometimes use cubed chuck roast to make oven braised beef stew if I’m fortunate enough to catch it on sale, and my butcher is kind enough to cut it up for me. A quick dusting with seasoned flour then browned in butter and oil to add a depth of flavor are simple steps that will set you up for full-flavored success. I actually recommend browning the stew beef prior to making slow cooking beef stew as well. I know, many slow cooking fans prefer not to add any steps to preparation but, to me it’s well worth the small amount of effort to add the extra depth of flavor.
I like to use red wine and tomato paste as ingredients for the sauce which gives it a rich color and flavor without needing to add cornstarch or extra flour to thicken the broth. If a thinner broth is to your liking then you can adjust the amount of tomato paste to your personal taste. If you prefer not to use red wine, substitute the same amount of beef broth and you’ll be good to go. The fresh thyme and bay leaves add such a fullness to the flavor and bread for sopping up the sauce isn’t optional.
Oven Braised Beef Stew
- 2 lb beef stew beef
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Olive oil
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1/2 lb carrots peeled and sliced diagonally
- 1 celery rib sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 tsp steak seasoning i.e. Chicago, Montreal OR your favorite
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1 cup red wine (May use beef stock instead]
- 3 cups low sodium beef stock
- 1/4 cup tomato paste. plus additional as needed
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 lb golden potatoes 1-inch cubes
- Additional thyme or chopped fresh parsley for garnishing
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Place the stew beef into a large plastic zip top bag. Add the flour, garlic salt, onion powder, paprika and pepper. Shake until coated.
- Drizzle the bottom of a dutch oven with olive oil. Add the butter.
- Over medium-high heat brown the meat in batches. Remove to a platter.
- Add the onion, carrots, celery, bay leaves, steak seasoning and oregano to the dutch oven. Cook for 1-2 minutes just to soften stirring to loosen any brown bits on the bottom of the dutch oven.
- Add the red wine, beef stock, tomato paste and Worcestershire to the pot. Stir well then return the beef. Add several sprigs of thyme.
- Cover and bake for 1 hour. Uncover and add the potatoes, stirring to incorporate.
- Replace the cover and cook for another 1 1/2 hours OR until the meat and potatoes are fork tender.
- Check the thickness of the broth.You may adjust using additional tomato paste, if desired..
- Garnish with fresh thyme or chopped Italian parsley.