Savory Beef Stew

I've never been the biggest fan of beef stew, but I love Little House on the Prairie. If you only knew I much I love that show.  The greatest show of all time--FOR REAL.  Anyway, they make stew look so good! I know it's just from a can, but it makes me rethink my feelings about stew every time I see it. My children just discovered LHOTP this year and are all super into it.  I couldn't be more proud!

It's the coldest two weeks of the year here right now and I had a bunch of home-grown carrots sitting in my fridge starting to go soft. My daughter grew those carrots in her own little garden at my mom's  house. She was with me at Costco when we spied some delicious looking perfectly marbled stew meat and I said, "Maybe I could make a stew with your carrots." 

And she said, "Oh Mommy! I would love stew on a cold day! They eat stew on Little House and it just looks so yummy!" So I sprung for the giant tray of stew meat.

Today we made about half of that tray into a giant pot of stew.  And let me tell you, it was the best stew I've ever had in my life. The kind of delicious that makes you want to eat well past gluttony.

I have a habit of making up delicious things and then never making them again, or trying, but not quite achieving the same outcome. So after his 3rd bowl, my husband said, "This needs to go to the top of your list. I'm sure you'll make it again in... will you ever make it again? This is the recipe that could be passed down from generation to generation." I told him I'd hurry and write it down.

So here it is.

Beef Stew:

  • 3 lbs Stew Meat (Marbled is best)
  • 3/4 C. flour (GF will also work)
  • 1 T Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • 1/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
  • 3 Cups Apple Cider
  • 5 cans of Beef Broth (You can also use Chicken or Veggie)
  • 6 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Onions-Chopped
  • 1 tsp Onion powder (optional--I feel like it gives it a little more of a savory flavor)
  • 1 lb Carrots Chopped
  • 3 lb of Golden/Red potatoes, scrubbed clean and cubed, or peeled and cubed (Peels are thin and have nutrients, but I won't judge you if it's not your thing.)
    • Cube them into bit-sized pieces.  Mine were 1/2-1 inch cubes. Whatever your family will eat. 
    • Note: You could short-cut this and use southern style hashbrowns, but I wouldn't recommend it for this particular recipe.
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • 1+ T Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper to taste


  1. Start by mixing together the flour and pepper, either in a brown paper bag, gallon sized bag, or a large mixing bowl. Put meat into the flour mixture, seal the bag/bowl, and shake it around until all of the beef pieces are coated.
    1. Coat the bottom of an 8 quart dutch oven pot with Olive Oil (Approx. 2 T) and heat over high heat.  Once the Oil looks like it's rippling, test it by tossing a little pinch of flour in it.  If it sizzles, it's ready to go. Carefully place coated meat into the oil a few pieces at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the bottom of the pan.  You want each piece to get browned. Let them brown for 2-3 minutes turning them until they are browned on most/all sides (I'm too impatient for all sides). Remove meat and set aside, then repeat until all of the meat is browned. I had to do this in two batches.  It only took about 10 minutes. Remove the meat from the dutch oven and set aside.
  2. Pour ACV and Cider into the pan.  Using a wooden spatula, scrape the bits from the bottom of the pan while the mixture is heating. Once the bits are scraped off, return the beef to the mixture, add the broth and the bay leaves, then bring it to a boil.  Once it's boiling, reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and let it simmer for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  3. Add carrots and onions to the pot.  Cook for about 10 minutes. Add potatoes to the pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer for at least another 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Personally, I love to let stew... well... stew.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Ladle into bowls and serve with bread sticks or dinner rolls.