Beef Stew

Beef Stew

Beef Stew

I know I’m not alone in loving hearty, thick stews in the winter. Soupy broth is nice and all, but it’s just not satisfying in the same way. But how to achieve that thickness without flour?

I took a trick I discovered when I came up with Hidden Onion and Turnip Borscht. Pureeing the onions and turnips produced a wonderfully thick gravy without any thickeners like wheat flour or corn starch.

I’ve found I prefer to just puree the onions in there and have chunky turnips. You could also puree the turnips in if you’ve got turnip-averse kiddos. Or you could do half and half. Do what works for you! I also boil the stock very a long time to reduce it; it’s a great way to get more stock into stock-averse kids!

This is one of my favorite ways to use up cheap roasts that go on sale so frequently. I buy a couple when they’re dirt cheap and cut them into chunks myself. Far more cost effective than buying already cut stew meat.

Beef Stew


8 servings

  • 3 lb beef roast, any cut
  • 1 qt homemade beef stock (no salt added)
  • 1 c tomato sauce (preferably in glass or frozen, not in BPA-lined cans)
  • 1/4 c dry red wine (leave out if still on intro)
  • 2 large onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 t salt
  • 3 large turnips or rutabagas
  • 6 large carrots
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 2 cups green beans (frozen or home canned)


  1. Bring the stock, tomato sauce, and red wine to a boil over high heat in an 8 qt stock pot. Add onion and garlic and reduce to a strong simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, cut beef into bite sized chunks and brown in large cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
  3. When onions are completely soft, puree with an immersion blender. If you don’t have an immersion blender (get one!), puree in batches in a blender and return it to the pot.
  4. Add the meat, bay leaf, rosemary, and salt to the stock and maintain a strong simmer for about 30 minutes, until meat starts to become tender.
  5. While the meat is simmering, prepare your vegetables. Peel the turnips or rutabagas well, as the outer layer can be very bitter. Also peel your carrots. Chop them into bite sized pieces.
  6. When the meat is just starting to become tender, add all the veggies except the green beans. Continue to simmer for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables are desired consistency.
  7. Add green beans at the very end. If using frozen, bring back to a quick boil to heat them through. If using canned, no need to reboil.
  8. Serve with a side of sauerkraut or mix in some yogurt or dairy kefir for a probiotic boost!

This post is part of Sunday Soup Night and The Weekend Gourmet.

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