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cookies-stew-chicken-006It snowed here in my new town this week (Monday actually) and I was feeling nostalgic for the my childhood on Long Island in the 70’s:  snow on the ground, sledding (my kids used a Boogie Board because they’re California kids) and something cooking all day in the kitchen for that night’s dinner.  My parents made a lot of the cuisine of the 70’s including stews, veal, casseroles, meatloaf and many of my mother’s Italian specialties.  My Dad loved a good slow cooker meal and beef stew was one of his favorites. 

 I created this particular recipe for the cooktop and it’s quite simple.  Incidentally, my local grocer had stew meat on sale so I added it to my menu when I went shopping last Sunday. 

Beef Stew with Baby Portabellas


1 1/2 lbs lean beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 medium onions, cut in half and then sliced thinly

2 cups sliced portabellas ( found these at Trader Joes)

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

3/4 cup good quality dry, red wine

2 tbsp tomato paste (I used Amore brand found at Amazon)

2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth

4 cups peel carrots, cut into 1/4 -inch diagonal slices

2 medium Russet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch slices

1 cup celery, cut into 1-inch diagonal slices

1 tbsp flour (whisked into 1 tbsp broth from stew)

1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped


Place flour into zip-top bag.  Season with salt and pepper (no measurement needed here).  Mix flour with seasonings.  Add beef stew meat in batches and coat with seasoned flour.  Heat large heavy-bottomed stock pot over medium-high heat.  Add beef in batches (do not crowd pot) and saute until browned.  Place browned beef onto plate.

Add onions and mushrooms to pot; saute for 6 minutes or until onions are translucent.  Add garlic and saute for 1 minute more (be careful not to burn garlic).  Pour off fat from stock pot.  Add red wine and cook for 2 minutes.  Add beef, tomato paste and beef broth.  Add enough water to cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and cover.  Simmer until beef is tender, about 1 1/4 hours.

Add carrots, potatoes and celery.  Cover pot partially with lid.  Simmer for 20 minutes or until carrots and potatoes are cooked and tender.

Uncover pot and stir in flour/broth mxture.  Increase heat and bring stew to a boil for 1 minute.  Adjust seasonings if necessary before serving. 

Serve in individual bowls and sprinkle with chopped parsley.