Beef stew is one of those dishes that just begs to be eaten when it’s cold out or when you’re around a campfire. It’s rich, comforting, and filling all at the same time. Most of the time people use pre-cut stew beef to make beef stew, because, well, it’s cheap and it’s called “stew beef” after all. Nonetheless, other cuts of meat can be used that can add great flavor as well as a different flavor profile to an otherwise traditionally familiar dish. The short ribs require a lot of simmering to tenderize them and while that happens the bones add a rich flavor to the stew. This decadent cut of meat turns this classic meal into something a little fancier, but without any more effort than usual.
The best part of this recipe next to the taste is that you can also make it in a slow cooker just by browning the meat and throwing all of the ingredients together into the pot for 6 to 8 hours on low heat. If you’re in a hurry, however, it can also be made on the stove very easily using the following recipe.
Makes 4 servings at roughly 519 calories each
- 2 pounds of bone in beef short ribs (~1400 calories)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (120 calories)
- 2 cups of chopped baby portobella mushrooms (32 calories)
- 3 large sliced carrots (about 1.5 cups – 75 calories)
- 1 sliced celery stalk (about 1 cup – 16 calories)
- 1 large russet potato (roughly 2 cups – 240 calories)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup red wine (100 calories)
- 1/2 an onion (uneaten = negligible calories)
- 1 bay leaf
- 32 oz. beef broth or slightly less (80 calories)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (13 calories)
- 1 large soup pot (not non-stick)
- Large plate
- Soup ladle
- Wooden spoon
- Cup, tablespoon, and teaspoon measurements
- Slice up the mushrooms if they aren’t pre-sliced. Slice the carrots and celery into similarly sized pieces and set them aside. Then peel and cut the potato into 1/2 inch cubes.
- Place a large soup pot on the stove over medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to it.
- Once the vegetable oil is hot, use the tongs to place the short ribs into the pot and brown the ribs on all sides.
- You don’t want to cook the ribs, but rather just get some color on them. When they are browned remove them from the pot and place them to the side on a plate.
- While the pot is still hot, add the mushrooms and start to cook them down a bit while stirring occasionally. The moisture from the mushrooms should help to de-glaze the pot, so don’t worry if you have some burned bits left over from the short ribs.
- When the mushrooms are softened, add the carrots and celery to the pot. Stir them into the mushrooms and cook them for a couple of minutes.
- Place the short ribs into the pot over the vegetables and add in the 1/2 cup of red wine. Simmer the wine for about 5 minutes to reduce and boil off some of the alcohol.
- Next, add enough beef broth to cover the contents by an inch of liquid or so. Bring the broth up to a strong simmer.
- Add the cubed potatoes to the stew along with half of a whole, peeled, onion and bring it back to a strong simmer. Once it’s simmering set the heat to low. If you need to add a little more broth to keep everything covered, then do that.
- Add the 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, the 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper, the bay leaf, and the tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce.
- Simmer the stew for 2 or 2.5 hours on low uncovered to allow the stew to reduce and thicken a bit. Make sure to lightly skim any grease, froth, or impurities floating on top of the stew every 30 minutes or so. This helps to make the stew a nice uniform color and improves the flavor a bit.
- After simmering, turn off the heat before removing the bay leaf and half onion to discard. You might be wondering why I didn’t chop up the onion into small pieces and saute it with the rest of the vegetables. The reason is that if you do that and simmer the chopped onion, you’ll end up with a broth that tastes more like French Onion soup than a traditional beef stew.
- The stew is ready to serve at this point, so you can either take out a short rib and ladle stew over it in a large bowl or you can pre-shred the beef and add it back to the stew.
- It is definitely more impressive to display the stew with the bone in short rib, but it is much easier to eat when the short ribs are pre-shredded and added back to the pot.
- Get some crusty bread and enjoy this rich stew or just eat it as is on a cold evening.