Baby It’s Cold Outside!

Ugh, so the weather has been soooo coooold here in Chicago recently.  We took a huge plunge from Fall to Winter in a couple of days and we aren’t looking back!  Cubs are gone, the big coats are out, and Wrigleyville is empty…guys, Winter is here.

Nothing goes better with a cold Winter than hot soup…specifically, beef stew.  I love beef stew so reminds me of cold nights by the fireplace in Oklahoma City with my family.  Nothing says home like stew.

This recipe is very easy and makes a lot of food!  You and your family will get to enjoy the taste of home for several days.

In case you don’t eat meat, I have included some alternatives if you want to do a vegetarian/vegan version.  This recipe would be just as delicious without the beef…just to be sure add more vegetables so the stew stays nice and hearty!

Here’s what you’ll need:


  • carrots, sliced – 6
  • celery, sliced – 6
  • onions, sliced – 2
  • potatoes, diced – 3 pounds
  • garlic, minced – 2 cloves

Note:  If doing vegetarian, be sure to pick up some additional vegetables!  16 ounces of whole mushrooms or 3-4 turnips!  This will help to make the stew nice and hearty.


  • allspice – sprinkle
  • bay leaves – 4
  • paprika – 1 tsp
  • pepper – 1 tsp
  • salt – 2 tsp

Pantry Items

  • beef stock (or veggie if vegetarian) – 4 cups
  • Worcestershire – 2 tbsp
  • sugar – 2 tsp
  • cornstarch – 4 tbsp
  • vegetable or olive oil – 4 tbsp


  • water – 2 1/2 cups

Meat (optional)

  • beef stew meat – 4 pounds

Heat the oil in a large dutch oven.

Add the stew meat.

photo 1

Brown all sides, about 5 minutes.

photo 2

Add the sliced onion.

photo 11

Add all the herbs/spices, Worcestshire sauce, garlic, beef stock and 2 cups of water.

photo 21

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cover for 1 hour.

Add the carrots, celery and potato to the stew.  Bring to a boil once again, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 40 minutes.

Remove from heat when vegetables are tender.

To thicken the stew up, mix the cornstarch and 1/2 cup of water together in a small bowl.  Add this mixture (called a slurry) to the hot stew and stir.  Heat a few minutes until the sauce starts to thicken!


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