Slow cooked meals is the essence of the fall and winter seasons. This hearty beef stew is well liked as well as very satisfying. Give this recipe a try and there wont be a need to buy the frozen pot pies that only need a microwave anymore because this tastes ten times better!
2 tbsp of olive oil
1lb of beef chuck meat for stewing cut into 1 inch cubes, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 large onion, ¼ inch dice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ cups of cremini mushrooms, ½ inch dice or quarters
2 tbsp of flour
2 cups of beef broth
1 cup of tomato puree
1 tbsp of tomato paste
A few sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
1lb of red bliss potatoes, peeled and ½ inch dice
1 cup of frozen mixed vegetables- consisting of carrots, corn, string beans and peas
Salt and pepper
Puff pastry or fresh/frozen pre-made pie crusts- 4 circles cut out large enough to overlap the ramekins
6-8 ramekins, (I just used 4 because that was all I had, so I had some stew left over)
An egg and some water for an egg wash
Note: If you have a lot of beef stew leftover, you can put in a casserole dish and top it with whatever leftover pie crust you have left and bake it.
Preheat the oven to 350°.
In a large saucepot or a deep sauté pan, add the olive oil on medium high heat. Add the cubed meat to the pan and allow to brown. Do in batches if necessary.
Once all the meat is browned remove from pan, add the onions until translucent. Then add the garlic and mushrooms until some of the moisture has cooked out from the mushrooms.
Return the meat to the pan and add the flour to the pan and keep stirring until the flour is well incorporated in the pan. Then pour the 2 cups of beef stock to the pan and allow for liquid to come to a simmer.
Add the tomato puree, tomato paste, the thyme and bay leaf. Stir and cover pan and allow the meat to become tender, approximately one hour. Remove the sprigs and bay leaf.
Once meat is tender, add the potatoes and cover them with the liquid. If not enough liquid, add just enough water to cover the potatoes. Cover the pan with the lid until the potatoes are almost cooked through.
Add the frozen vegetables and adjust the seasonings. There should be a small amount of liquid in the pan.
Prepare the ramekins and pie crusts. Measure the pie crusts using the top of the ramekins and cut one inch larger in diameter than the ramekins.
Put the stew mixture into the ramekins and fill to the top. Top them with the pie crust and cut a slit in the crust to allow steam to escape. Brush the tops with egg wash and you can take a fork and make creases on the edges of the crusts to help seal the crust to the ramekin.
Place ramekins on sheet pan just in case any liquid seeps out the sides. Allow them to bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the crusts are brown and crispy. You can also follow the allotted time for the crusts if using store-bought pie crusts.