I've been making beef stew for a long time, and I always thought mine wasn't half bad–until I tasted the version made by my neighbor, Kennette Osborn. Her part-German grandmother taught her to make the stew, and it is really good. It helps that she has access to local beef, raised organically, and the allspice lends a touch of mystery. But what really makes it extraordinary is the surprise–coleslaw. That idea came from her late husband, which makes this a true family recipe. Take a big spoonful, she said, and stir it into your bowl of hot stew. I admit, at first I was skeptical. But trust me, and give it a try. The raw cabbage adds a nice crunch, and the dressing makes the whole thing creamy, but in a nice way.
December 01, 2013

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, approximately
  • Seasoned salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (more if needed)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1–2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1–2 carrots, cut into bite-size chunks
  • 3 thin-skinned potatoes (such as red, Yukon Gold or Yellow Finn)
Coleslaw
  • 1 head green cabbage
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1/4 cup cream (or evaporated milk), more as needed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions

MAKE THE STEW:

Mix the flour and seasoned salt, and dredge the meat until each piece is well coated (a plastic bag makes this easy). Add the oil to a large soup pot, deep skillet or Dutch oven and brown the meat over medium-high heat. Work in batches if needed to make sure each piece is well browned.

To the same pot, add the onion and garlic (add a little more oil at this point, if needed) and sauté until the onion is soft. Add enough beef broth to cover the meat, along with the sugar, allspice, paprika, bay leaves and salt and pepper to taste. Cover the pot and reduce the heat. Simmer until the meat is tender, about 40 to 50 minutes (longer doesn't hurt).

Add the carrots and potatoes and cook until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. If the liquid seems thin, mix a little cornstarch with cold water and add it a little at a time.

MAKE THE COLESLAW:

Shred the cabbage (or start with a bag of coleslaw mix from the supermarket, already shredded).

Whisk the mayonnaise, sugar, and mustard together, and gradually add the cream until you get the consistency you like. Pour the dressing over the cabbage, mix well and add salt and pepper; taste and adjust seasonings. Ideally, it's best to let this "brew" for an hour or two before serving.

TO SERVE:

Serve the stew in shallow bowls, and pass the coleslaw so that each person can take a large spoonful to stir into the stew.

MAKE AHEAD? Yes, both elements. Slow, slow cooking is best for the beef anyway, and the coleslaw needs time to meld. And, like all stews, this is better the next day.


Edited excerpt from Soup Night by Maggie Stuckey, used with permission from Storey Publishing.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, approximately
  • Seasoned salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (more if needed)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1–2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1–2 carrots, cut into bite-size chunks
  • 3 thin-skinned potatoes (such as red, Yukon Gold or Yellow Finn)
Coleslaw
  • 1 head green cabbage
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1/4 cup cream (or evaporated milk), more as needed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
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