When I started to write this post, I googled beef stew. There seems to be as many different recipes for beef stew as there are stars in the sky! A couple that I found interesting are Irish Beef Stew from Simply Recipes, and Parker's Beef Stew from Ina Garten.
I love a traditional beef stew with lots of potatoes and carrots, but one of my favorite stews is this one from Cooking Light. It uses mushrooms in place of the usual vegetables and vermouth instead of beer or wine. I really like the different flavor that vermouth gives it. You can find the recipe on-line here, or follow along below.
1 pound lean beef stew meat
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 cups crimini or button mushrooms (about 1/2 pound), halved
1 cup dry vermouth
1 cup low-salt chicken broth
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
Flat-leaf parsley sprigs (optional)
Trim fat from beef; cut beef into 1-inch cubes. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat until hot. Add beef and onion; saute 5 minutes. Combine flour, salt, and pepper; sprinkle over beef mixture, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add mushrooms and next 7 ingredients (mushrooms through tomatoes); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 40 minutes or until beef is tender, stirring occasionally. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
Note: Substitute 1 cup chicken broth for the 1 cup vermouth, if desired.
4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)
From Cooking Light September 1996
The ony change that I make to the recipe is that I usually let it cook longer than 40 minutes. I feel that some stew meat (especially beef chuck), needs longer to become tender.