1 tablespoon olive oil
6 medium carrots, cut into 3/4” chunks
6 medium celery stalks, cut into 3/4” chunks
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, grated or finely minced
1/2 cup tomato paste
8 cups chicken or beef stock
2 large gold potatoes, cut into 3/4″ chunks (I leave the skin on)
2 teaspoon thyme leaves (dried or fresh)
2 bay leaves
1.5 cups frozen peas (leave out if doing Whole30)
Heat a dutch oven (or heavy bottomed soup pot) over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. On a dinner plate, lay out enough of the beef stew meat that will fill the bottom of your dutch oven in an even layer without the beef touching. Sprinkle the top of the beef with salt, then transfer to the dutch oven salted side down to brown. Cook about 5 minutes (or until browned), sprinkle the top of the beef again with salt, then flip to brown the other side. Transfer the browned beef to a plate. Repeat this process until all the beef is browned. It takes me 3 batches to brown all the beef.
After the meat is browned, add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic to the dutch oven, along with 1/4 cup of the stock. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. As the stock boils, scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom of the dutch oven (this all has tons of flavor!). Continue to cook the vegetables until softened and browning, about 5-10 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and blended powder from the dried shiitake mushrooms, stir to combine.
Add the stock, potatoes, thyme and bay leaves.
Dutch Oven Cooking Instructions
Cover the dutch oven with its lid, and cook in a 300º for at least 6 hours.
Slow Cooker Cooking Instructions
Transfer the beef stew to your slow cooker, and cook over high heat for at least 6 hours.
Leftovers will keep in an airtight container refrigerated for 1 week, or frozen for up to 1 year. This stew freezes beautifully!
It is really important to not overcrowd the dutch oven as the beef is browning. Otherwise, it will steam and not brown. Browning it properly adds TONS of flavor!
You can find the dried shiitake mushrooms in the international/asian section of the grocery store.
The beef stew I use is the precut “beef stew meat” that is in the meat section at the grocery store.
You want to leave the vegetables cut large (3/4″), otherwise they disintegrate while the stew is braising and you won’t have any vegetables chunks.