I am crazy for one pot meals, especially during the colder winter months. I love starting a meal after lunch and letting it cook slowly over a low heat until dinnertime. This process is called braising or stewing depending on whether you use large or small cuts of beef. Both methods begin with tougher cuts of beef and the long cooking time helps break down the muscle fibers leaving you with meat that “falls off the bone.”
Today, I’m going to share one of my favorite winter recipes, pot roast stew. This is not one of those recipes that you can’t simply whip up after a long day at the office, but it is one that you can make a ton of on a Sunday and reheat throughout the week. You mustn’t rush the cooking time with this or you will end up with mushy veggies and tough beef. Nobody wants that.
Don’t be deterred by the cook time for this recipe. Three hours is a long time, but I promise it will be worth it in the end! As this is cooking you will start to pick up all of the different smells in this dish. The first time you walk by your kitchen, it will smell intensely of garlic. Then, you’ll get a whiff of rosemary and you’ll want to lift the lid and peek inside because you know something magical is happening in there. Be patient.
I use chuck roast for this recipe, which is the cut of beef that is used for pot roast. My grocery store happens to sell packages of cubed chuck roast labeled as stew beef, but you could always buy a full-sized pot roast and cube the meat yourself.
The white cubes that look like potatoes in the photo above are actually turnips and parsnips. I omitted traditional white potatoes to make this recipe Paleo-friendly and, to be honest, I probably won’t make this recipe using potatoes ever again. The parsnip and turnip add a deep layer of flavor to the broth, and when it comes to flavor, white potatoes miss the mark!
- 2 lbs. stew beef
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 parsnip, chopped
- 1 turnip, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 4 carrots, chopped
- 1 8 oz. box of mushrooms, chopped in half
- 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
- 1 heaping teaspoon sweet paprika
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 beef bullion cubes
- 8 cups water
- Salt and pepper
- In a heavy-bottom pot, melt the ghee over medium heat and brown the beef. You will have to do this in shifts so as to not overcrowd the pot. Overcrowding will cause the beef to steam rather than brown. When the beef is browned on all sides, remove it and set aside.
- Lower the heat and wait about 10 minutes for the temperature of the pot drop (you do not want to burn your garlic in the next step!).
- Add the shallots and garlic to the pot and cook until the shallots caramelize, about 7 minutes. Stir often.
- Return the beef back to the pot and add 8 cups of water, paprika, bay leaf, rosemary sprigs, thyme sprigs, and beef bullion cubes. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer over low heat for 90 minutes.
- Add the parsnip, turnip, celery, carrots, and mushrooms, cover, and continue to simmer for at least 30 more minutes.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh thyme. Serve warm.
- If you do not have ghee, you can use olive oil or bacon fat to brown your beef.
- You can also use 4 cups of beef broth and 4 cups of water instead of bullion cubes.