Basic Beef Stew

Beef Stew is one of the less popular comfort food choices. There are many ways to cook it - each homecook has his/her own way to spruce it up.

But we all have to start from the basic recipe, which contains beef shoulder, herbs, carrots and potatoes.

I got half a kilo of beef cubes from the supermarket and cut it up into smaller 0.5 inch cubes. They'll cook faster that way, and easier to distribute into small servings.

This dish was intended to be frozen - part of my Freezer Cooking revolution, so I made sure the meat is tender for a quick microwave re-heat.

I also added extra water to keep the dish from drying up, in case I heat it up on a stove. By then, you can add your 'spruce up' ingredients like tomato paste, thickeners (flour/cornstarch) and additional vegetables. So here's the recipe:

Basic Beef Stew

Prep time: | Cook time: or less, with a pressure cooker | Total time:

1/2 kilo beef shoulder cubes
1 medium onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
green peas
1 tsp butter
flour (optional)
4 cups soup stock (or water)
2 tbsp cooking oil
ground pepper

1. Coat the beef in flour (or not; this step is optional).
2. In a deep pan, heat the oil and brown the beef on all sides.
3. Set aside browned beef.
4. In the same pan, without changing the oils, add butter and saute garlic and onion.
5. Pour in soup stock.
6. Throw in herbs and seasonings.
7. Reduce to a simmer and boil with lid on until the beef is easily separated by a fork (about 1.5 hours, or less with a pressure cooker).
8. Add the vegetables and boil until soft.
9. Before freezing: Place in a freezer-safe container and let cool before keeping in the cold storage.

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