It is FINALLY fall here in California! I am loving the crispness in the air, and being able to have the windows open all day. It might be a little too cold to have the windows open all the time…but I’m seven months pregnant so it feels wonderful! My poor husband came into the cold house the other day and couldn’t believe that I wasn’t cold. I decided to warm him up with a bowl of this beef stew, and he forgot all about being cold. This stew is pure comfort food. It takes a little while to simmer on the stove, but most of the work is hands off. Simply brown the meat, add the rest of the ingredients, and let it do its thing. Love meals like that. So if you’re looking to cozy up with some comfort food that takes minimal effort (and who isn’t?), this is the dish for you!
STEP ONE: Brown the Meat
Heat oil over medium high heat for 1-2 minutes, or until shimmering. Add stew meat, and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook until browned and a fond develops on the bottom of the pan. See all that coloring on the bottom of the pan? That is what you want. It helps develop the flavor of the stew.
STEP TWO: Add Everything Else to the Pan
Remove the beef and set aside. Add butter to the pot and scrape up the little bits on the bottom of the pan. Once butter is melted, add flour and cook about 30 seconds. You will now have a thick paste. Slowly whisk in milk. Whisk constantly to make sure there are no lumps of flour. Add onion, garlic, bay leaf, worcestershire, bouillon, potatoes, carrots, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 2 1/2 hours, or until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened. Remove onion. If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in beef broth or milk until it reaches your desired consistency.
STEP THREE: Enjoy a Delicious Bowl of Stew!