Cold winter nights call for warm comfort food. A hearty beef stew can be just that. While some beef stews fall short on the flavor spectrum, this one will leave your taste buds satisfied.
Traditionally, beef stew is thickened with wheat flour. For those of us who must be gluten free, it can be tough to find a flour substitute that thickens appropriately without being grainy or becoming gummy. With a combination of King Arthur Gluten Free Flour, and arrowroot, I was able to produce a thick gravy for this stew while avoiding the typical gluten free pitfalls.
When it comes to choosing meat for a beef stew, the easiest thing to do is purchase “stewing meat.” The meat is already cut into cubes. It’s referred to as “stewing meat” because it must be cooked low and slow to tenderize the otherwise tough cuts. When I don’t have “stewing meat” available, I grab a whole roast and cut it into cubes myself. For this purpose, kitchen scissors are much quicker and more efficient than a knife. The meat pictured is a package of Chuck Steaks that I cut myself.
For the stew pictured here, I did not have “Stewing Meat” in the freezer. I used these Chuck Steaks instead.
I used kitchen scissors to cut the steaks into one inch pieces for stewing. Since Chuck steaks have good marbling throughout, I cut off the larger strips of fat and discarded them.
Once the beef is prepped, I roll each cube in a mixture of gluten free flour, white pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. I then drop them into an oil coated Dutch Oven to sear each side of the beef cubes. You’ll want to be sure that each piece of meat is touching the bottom of the pan. To do this, I often have to work in batches. Remove the pieces that are done, or slide them to the side of the pan to sear new pieces. You only need to just brown each side. It is not necessary or beneficial to cook the meat all the way through so quickly.
Sear the coated meat in small batches so that they are able to quickly and evenly brown on all sides.
After searing the meat, add in the chopped onions, garlic cloves, and celery ribs. Stir until they become fragrant and soft. Add extra oil as needed. There will likely be brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan by this point. Deglaze the pan by adding beef stock slowly. Stir the contents of the pan to incorporate all those yummy brown bits into the stock. Add the tomato past, soy sauce (or replacement) and all of the herbs. Cover the contents with an oven safe lid and put the whole thing in a 275 degree oven for 3-4 hours. In the last hour, add the carrots and potatoes. (If you like them really soft, go ahead and add them at the beginning. I like them to still have form and shape when serving.)
This stew is not short on flavor. An abundance of herbs and spices pack this meal with earthy undertones.
When the meat is fall apart tender, remove the pan from the oven. My gravy is generally not quite as thick as I like it, so I make a slurry using 1-2 Tbsp. Arrowroot and 1/4 cup of the stew broth. Once the arrowroot is well dissolved, I add the liquid back to the pan and stir. This will thicken the gravy over the next few minutes.
We like to serve this over rice with a green vegetable like roasted broccoli or Brussels sprouts. Enjoy and make this recipe your own.
Gluten Free Beef Stew
– Dutch Oven or large oven safe pot with cover
– 2-3 lb. “Stewing Meat” or other roast cut into cubes
– 1/2 c gluten free flour (I used King Arthur – blue bag)
– 2 tsp sea salt
– 3/4 tsp ground white pepper
– 1/2 tsp garlic powder
– 1/2 tsp onion powder
– 4 tbsp olive oil (and more as needed)
– 2 onions, chopped
– 5 garlic cloves, chopped
– 2 celery ribs, chopped
– 8 oz tomato paste
– 1 tbsp soy sauce (or alternative – I use “No Soy”)
– 4 c beef stock
– 1/2 tsp rosemary
– 1/2 tsp thyme
– 1/2 tsp basil
– 1/2 tsp oregano
– 1/2 tsp tarragon
– small handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
– 6 carrots, rough chopped
– 3 russet potatoes (or sweet potatoes), rough chopped
– 1-2 tbsp arrowroot as needed/preferred
1. Cube the meat if necessary.
2. Set the oven to 275 degrees fahrenheit.
3. Mix the flour, sea salt, white pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder together in a bowl.
4. Dredge the cubed meat in the flour, covering all sides.
5. Heat the Dutch Oven or other oven-safe pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil when hot. Sear the meat, turning every sixty seconds or so to brown each side. (Do this in batches if necessary. The meat needs to lay flat on the bottom of the pot, not sit in piles.)
6. Remove the meat from the pan and add in the onions, garlic, and celery. Saute until fragrant and somewhat translucent. Add extra oil to the pan if it’s too dry.
7. When the onions, garlic, and celery are soft, add tomato paste and soy sauce. Stir to combine, then add the beef stock slowly to deglaze the bottom of the pot and mix all ingredients completely.
8. Add all of the herbs and stir.
9. Place an oven safe lid on the Dutch oven or oven-safe pot and place it into the 275 degree oven for 3-4 hours.
10. During the last hour of cooking, remove the lid and add the carrots and potatoes. (You can add them at the beginning if you like them soft and mushy. I like them to have more form and shape.)
11. After the final cooking time is done, remove the pot from the oven. If the gravy is not as thick as you’d like, place 1-2 tbsp of arrowroot into a separate bowl. Add about 1/4 c of the stew broth and make a slurry. Dump this liquid back into the stew and stir. After a few minutes, the residual heat will work with the arrowroot to thicken the stew.
12. Serve on its own or over rice. Enjoy!
Here on SpringForestFarm.com, Jennifer Taylor Schmidt writes beef recipes for the busy, natural homemaker. It is possible to seek optimal health with limited time and money. Join Jennifer in future posts as she explores the possibilities found in a 1/4 and a 1/2 beeve. You can also find her thoughts and personal health journey on RealFoodRealHealing.com.