In my opinion - beef stew is comfort food at it’s finest. My dad would make this stew growing up (along with homemade bannock) pretty much whenever it was his turn to cook. It's hearty, flavourful, and everyone loves it! It’s also really easy to make. I made a couple tweaks to my dads original recipe, but it still carries it’s nostalgia with all the big chunks of beef and thick-cut veggies. For my twist on the original - I added smoked paprika for a rich smokey flavour, and rutabaga for a sweet earthy element.
The ingredients are basic and simple but come together perfectly, just my style. I like to keep it old school and use my dutch oven, but I’m sure it can also be made in the Instant Pot using the soup/stew setting. The secret is making sure to brown the meat, and remembering to scrape up the caramelized brown bits on the bottom of the pot! Letting the stew braise and slow cook in the oven also helps give more depth and dimension to the stew (also makes the beef very very tender. I braise for 1½ hours, but it could easily be left for 2 hours. I’m just impatient hehe).
Feel free to adapt to your liking! Sometimes I also add sweet peas or green beans if I have them on hand, or cremini mushrooms. Serve with bread (or bannock. I’m still trying to create a fluffy gluten free bannock recipe of you guys). It always turns out delicious and comforting. I hope you like it!
Dad's Beef Stew