Well, it’s totally worth it. Just for the record.

We picked up our cow a couple of months ago and this time we opted to get the beef bones to make beef stock. I won’t lie; making beef stock is way more involved than making chicken stock. It took me the entire weekend to make 2 gallons of beef stock. With chicken, you just throw it all in a pot and simmer for about three hours and bada bing! Chicken stock so good it’s like angels (which I don’t even believe in) made it.

Beef stock? My goodness. I had to defrost the frozen bones and then roast them in the oven for a couple of hours. Then the bones went into the stock pot and had to simmer for TWENTY-FOUR hours. I am not even kidding. And no one likes to talk about this but in the early hours of making beef stock, that stuff stinks. The smell, unlike the smell of simmering chicken stock, does not smell like anything you’d ever want to eat. I was worried that my stock had gone bad or something but google assured me the stink was normal. After the twenty-four hours was up, I had to cool it down and get it in the fridge. Then we bagged it and froze it. I wondered at the end of the weekend if it was really worth all that trouble.

Then…I made beef stew with it. And the verdict is “definitely worth it.” Sweet marinara, was that stew good!  It’s a recipe I learned from my mom and I’ve tweaked several times over the years into what it is today. She might not recognize it as her beef stew but her recipe is the progenitor and I have to give her credit for the bones of this recipe.

Beef Stew

  • 1.5 lbs stew meat cut into 1″ cubes – keep the beef cubes on the small side.
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup good red wine
  • 6 cups beef stock
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 4 yukon gold potatoes, chopped and unpeeled
  • 8 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 large sprig fresh rosemary, chopped fine
  • salt/pepper to taste

Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a dutch oven or deep cast iron skillet. Use an oil with a high smoke point because you want this rocket-hot to brown and crust your beef right. Toss the beef cubes with flour and brown in the hot pan. A crust should form on the bottom of the pan and the beef should get nice and brown. Deglaze the pan with red wine, stirring the brown bits off the bottom. Add the beef stock, soy sauce, garlic, rosemary, and onion and simmer for about 30 minutes.  You can also transfer everything to a crock pot and cook on low for as long as you need. Add the carrots and parsnips and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about ten minutes. Add the potatoes and cook the stew until the potatoes are fork-tender. If the stew is still thin, you can thicken it with some cornstarch if you like.

The reason this stew doesn’t have to simmer all day to tenderize the beef is the small cubes of beef used. They get tender fairly quickly so it can be made start to finish in just over an hour. It makes a lot, enough for eight people if you can keep people from going back for seconds and thirds. It does taste better the second day so we love making this big pot and eating it again the next night.  Enjoy!

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