When cool weather tiptoes in, that’s a sign: find a recipe for beef stew, sure to warm you through and through. It’s traditional comfort food at its finest: meat, potatoes and carrots. Stepping into the 21st century, we can now make this old-fashioned meal with new-fashioned methods!
I’ve been using this beef stew recipe for at least 20 (of my 21 😀) years and for most of that time I have used a crockpot. For a weeknight meal I would prep it all the night before by browning the meat and cutting the vegetables. I put everything in the crockpot insert and placed it in the refrigerator overnight. Since I could use Blood Mary mix as an ingredient I would sometimes mix a beverage for myself. 😍
In the morning, the insert came out of the fridge and went into the crockpot. Using a low temperature setting, I let it cook all day. By the time I came home the stew was ready to be thickened. Delicious. If you don’t have an Instant Pot yet, use this method. Oh, and then remember to put “Instant Pot” on your Christmas list.
Now – new and improved! – an Instant Pot makes it even easier. First, use the Sauté function to brown the meat, then add everything else. Set the cook cycle (meat/stew) and batten down the latches. This is an 18 minute cook time for my Instant Pot, and total time is about an hour with the pressurize/depressurize steps. Once the cycle is complete, thicken with flour and it’s ready to serve.
This is great on the day you make it, and an excellent leftover meal. It also freezes well. In fact, if all goes according to plan, I will be out of the country on vacation when this post goes live! A portion of this batch will be in the freezer for the carnivore to enjoy while I am gone. 😀
Bloody Mary Beef Stew
- 1 TB olive oil
- 1½ pounds beef stew meat cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1½ cups Bloody Mary mix or vegetable juice cocktail
- 1½ cups beef broth
- 2 medium carrots peeled, sliced 1-inch
- 2 medium potatoes peeled, cubed
- 1 medium onion cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
For Instant Pot:
- Turn Instant Pot to “sauté” setting. Add olive oil, then beef. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned (5 to 7 minutes).
- Add all remaining ingredients, except flour and water.
- Seal Instant Pot and set to “meat/stew” (18 minutes). Once cooking cycle is done, allow to vent naturally for at least 20 minutes.
- Stir together water and flour in a cup or small bowl until smooth.
- When Instant Pot has vented, remove lid and stir flour mixture into beef mixture, stirring constantly. If mixture does not thicken, turn the Instant Pot to Sauté and cook, stirring, for 3-5 minutes to thicken the sauce.
- Warm olive oil in 10-inch skillet until hot; add meat. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned (5 to 7 minutes).
- Place meat in slow cooker. Stir in all remaining ingredients, except water and flour.
- Cover; cook on Low heat for 8 to 9 hours, or High heat for 5 to 6 hours or until beef is tender. Uncover; remove bay leaf.
- Stir together water and flour in a cup or small bowl until smooth. Add flour mixture into beef mixture, stirring constantly. Cook on High heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened (8 to 10 minutes).
- TIP: Add more flour if a thicker stew is desired.