Baked Beef Stew
I know I said I’d be doing soups for the month of October, but I’m slipping a stew in here. If you’ve never baked a stew in the oven before, you need to give this a try. It has just about as much prep time as a stovetop stew, but you don’t have to worry about checking on it every 20 minutes or so to make sure it’s not going dry. Every piece of meat and vegetable in this stew is moist and flavorful.

As we get further into fall, unless you’re a hardcore locavore, you’ll have to compromise on the local-ness of your ingredients. Right now, the onions and the potatoes in the recipe are still available locally for me, but the carrots and celery are no longer in season.

One way you can continue to add local into your diet once the fresh fruits and vegetables are scarce is to find a source for local meats if you’re a meat eater. I got the beef cubes for the stew from Hillacres Prides. This dairy and meat farm sells at my local farmers market, and I get truly free range beef, chicken, and pork products from them as well as delicious cheeses and real farm fresh eggs.

On to the recipe. This makes a tasty stew that, like many stews, is even better the second day. However, there are rarely any leftovers. I got this from my go to recipe site Allrecipes.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons instant tapioca
  • 1 tablespoon beef bouillon granules
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 strips celery, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 slice bread, cubed
Time Estimates

Prep time: 10 min  

Cook time: 2 hr 20 min  

Total time: 2 hr 30 min  

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the stew meat; drain and set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, water, tapioca, beef bouillon granules, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir in the beef, carrots, celery, potatoes, onion, and bread cubes. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
  4. Cover and bake for 2 hours, or until meat and vegetables are tender.

Yield

Makes 6-8 servings

My notes

  • I halved the recipe because I only had one pound of beef cubes. I changed the cooking time to an hour and a half. It’s easy to half, and the website allows you to change the number of servings before you print the recipe out.
  • I was a bit distracted as I was cooking, so you can see in the picture that the carrots are cut more like carrots for soup and not stew. I would recommend cutting them in 1/4 inch pieces. They are easier to pick up with your fork that way.
  • Beef bouillon granules are very high in sodium. Buy low sodium granules and add salt at the table if you feel it needs it.
  • I think this stew would be great with mushrooms added, but I don’t add them because the boys would revolt. 

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