Classic Beef Stew
Classic Beef Stew
Classic Beef Stew that comes our perfect every single time. Tender bites of beef, onion, carrots and sweet peas in a savory gravy made with vegetable juice and thickened with tapioca. This recipe is what you crave when you think of beef stew. This recipe can feed a large family but also freezes really well.
There is a full, printable recipe at the end of this post. There is also a Pinterest button on the top right hand corner so you can pin this recipe for future use. CLICK HERE to follow me on Pinterest. I will answer a couple of your most asked questions in the next few paragraphs.
The tapioca I use is made by Kraft and it is called Minute tapioca. The tapioca is found in the baking aisle and is quite affordable. Make sure you give the box a good shake before opening it. The tapioca dissolves into the gravy as this beef cooks. It thickens the gravy without taking over or adding any flavor to the gravy. The gravy will also be the perfect texture for stew. Not too thick and not too thin. I often find beef stews from others to either be soup like or too thick of a gravy. This makes it perfect. I learned this hack at a restaurant I worked at years ago, and I have never looked back.
If your gravy isn’t as thick as you like it, you can always add a little more in the last step of making this recipe.
If you aren’t using canned potatoes, what are you doing with your life? Canned potatoes are perfect for this recipe because they are tender and flavorful, and they do not fall apart in the cooking. Make sure you rinse them so your stew is not too salty. I accidentally bought one can of whole potatoes and one can of diced this time and the stew was just as good. I do recommend using the whole potatoes as they add a nice treat to the individual bowls. These potatoes also save time.
A speckled roaster is best
I HIGHLY recommend getting yourself a speckled roaster for this recipe. This roaster is the perfect thickness to cook this recipe and make the meat tender. You can find these at Walmart, hardware stores and on amazon. Without getting all scientific the way these conduct heat for these slow cooking recipes makes a difference. I also have a recipe for a pork roast that is my Mom’s family recipe that uses this roaster. You can find that recipe by clicking here.
I have made this recipe for the stew in my slow cooker, and it comes out fine, but I think it comes out better in this roaster. You can throw everything in low in the slow cooker and cook 8 hours, and add the potatoes and peas in the last 45 minutes. In my opinion, the new slow cookers just seem to boil the food. This is why I think the oven method is the best. To me, the taste and texture is superior.
- 2 lbs of beef cut for stew (feel free to use 3 lbs if you like things meatier)
- 1 medium sized yellow onion, sliced thin (feel free to use more or less onion based on your preferences)
- 2 11.5 ounce cans of V8 Juice (approximately 2.5 cups)
- 2.5 tablespoons of quick cooking tapioca (found in the baking aisle, picture of the one I use in the post)
- 2 tsp of salt
- 6 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch pieces (you can also use a small bag of baby carrots)
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- black pepper
- onion & garlic powders
- dried parsley
- 2 14.5 ounce cans of whole potatoes, drain, rinse and pat dry
- 1.5 cups frozen peas
*I highly recommend using a covered roaster for this recipe, I believe it cooks best in the oven. Picture of the roaster I use in the post.
- Add the meat, onions, carrots to the roaster, season with a sprinkle across of the garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley and black pepper, plus the salt.
- Add the V8 to a bowl and add the sugar, and tapioca, stir to combine and pour over the meat and veggies.
- Cover the roaster with a piece of foil, and make sure the foil is tight. Add the lid to the roaster. If you do not have a roaster with a lid, add two pieces of foil.
- Bake in a 325 degree oven. I think this meat comes out better in the oven than in a slow cooker. Bake in oven for 2 hours without opening the door.
- After 2 hours, take out of oven, give it all a stir, the tapioca should have thickened the gravy, if it is not to your desired thickness add in another tablespoon and stir. Add your potatoes and peas, give another stir.
- Replace the foil and the lid and cook another 45 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let rest 20 minutes as the meat will need time to relax and become soft and tender. It is even better if you let the stew sit in fridge overnight and reheat the next day. But this can be served the same day.
- Stew makes great leftovers, and can be frozen.