Joy the Baker

Beef and Sweet Potato Stew

November 16, 2011

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Have you ever been to St Louis, Missouri?

I think it might be a magic place… I think it might also be haunted.  Like, seriously.

I’m here visiting my dearheart Rachel.  The light here is like sun shining through milkglass.  There are piles of leaves everywhere.  The houses are HUGE! and beautifully bricked, and scary, and haunted, and regal.  There’s so much beauty and pride here.  And people say hello to one another when they walk down the street.

I’m staying in a house that has a claw foot tub and a lady ghost whose giant dragging skirt can occasionally be heard going down the stairs.  I haven’t heard it yet.  I had a preemptive conversation with the lady ghost explaining that when I get spooked, I also get screamy and punchy.

Beautiful and haunted, this place.

Yea… I’m a little scared

I need stew… like, right now!

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I don’t put a lot of meat on my blog.

That’s because I have a tremendous appreciation for butter and sugar.

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As Fall pulls into full swing, I find myself wanting to cook anything and everything in my dutch oven.

Soups.  Stews.  Things that have dumplings.

It’s time.

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I paired sweet potato with stew beef to create a rich and flavorful stew.

There’s a splash of beer and Worcestershire sauce.  Carrots and onions, of course.  A good dose of tomato paste and beef broth.

It’s profoundly comforting.

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This is a pot of food stuffs that is just begging to be shared.

This is a pot of food stuffs that may be best served in over-sized bowls, with couscous or rice, a blanket, a loved one, and a scary movie.

That sounds like a really good life.

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Oh!  You should also know that I love mixing sweet potatoes in things.  Maybe you want to get into it too!

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos relive summer just a little.

Sweet Potato and Kale Soup comfort town, major.

Dad’s Perfect Sweet Potato Pie if you’re thinking of making pie for the holiday… this is IT!  my dad’s family recipe plus a bonus no-roll pie crust.  amazing!

Beef and Sweet Potato Stew

makes a big pot.  serves 6.

adapted from Epicurious.com

Print this Recipe!

3/4 cup all-purpose flour with a big pinch of salt and pepper

1 1/4 pound stew beef, cut into 1-inch chunks

about 1/4 cup olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, coarsely diced

2 cups peeled and thickly sliced carrots

3/4 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned and cut in half

6 cloves of garlic, minced

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 cup light beer

1 pound sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1-inch chunks

4 cups beef broth (more if you’d like it more soupy)

1 bay leaf

3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1-2 tablespoons sugar

salt and pepper to taste

couscous and parsley to serve

In a large brown paper bag, place flour, salt, and pepper.  Add diced beef.  Close the bag.  Hold it tight and shake.  Open bag and make sure that all of the beef is lightly coated in flour and seasoning.  Set aside.

In a large dutch oven (or giant soup pot), heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.  Add as much beef as will fit along the bottom of the pan in a single layer.  Cook, browning on all sides.  The beef doesn’t need to be cooked through, just browned.  Once all of the beef is cooked, remove from the pan and place on a plate.  Set aside.

In the same dutch oven, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add onions and carrots and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add mushrooms and garlic, and cook for another 3 minutes.  Add tomato paste and heat through.  Deglaze the pan with the beer, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan as the beer steams.

Add the sweet potatoes, and cover with beef broth.

Add bay leaf, thyme, and Worcestershire sauce.  Add beef.  Turn heat to low and let gently simmer for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through,

Taste and add sugar (this helps the acidity), salt, and pepper as necessary.

Serve over couscous or rice with a sprinkling of fresh parsley.


138 Comments Add A Comment

  • I am also super into sweet potatoes in everything. And stew is my fave. Let’s get meaty with it.

  • This reminds me of the kind of food my grandma would make when I was growing up. Hearty and comforting. Your pictures are gorgeous, as always!

  • Welcome to lovely St. Louis! :) I hope you have a fabulous time here.

  • I just left the house after my lunch break with a big pot of stock simmering on the stove (boyfriend is home), so this is such a timely post. Yum! And wait! I want to know the story behind the lady with the dragging dress! I am so on the edge of my seat with this one.

  • I love STL! My dad grew up just across the river in Alton, which is supposedly one of the most haunted towns in America. I got creeped out just eating at a restaurant in a hotel that allegedly had a variety of ghost friends living there.

  • Yum, beef stew!! Perfect for chilly November weather =)

  • This looks amazing. I am all about stews at the moment. Stews and pulled pork. I could totally not stay in a haunted house.

  • Enjoy your time in St. Louis, Joy! I’ve called it home for 30 years (my old-entire-life give or take a few away for college and adventures) and it’s a great place to be.

    Also – I am making this beef stew immediately.

  • Aw, I miss the ‘Lou. (Lived there for 4 years fresh out of college. What fun times!) Please, go have some Ted Drewes, Fried Ravioli, and take a stroll through the Art Museum for me!

  • A classic beef stew recipe! Good to have these kinds of recipes in your pocket as the weather cools. I’ve been doing a lot of similar recipes in my slow cooker for convenience. Thanks for sharing! :)

  • I grew up in St. Louis, and though I’ve lived in several different places since then, STL remains my all time favorite. I love the city so, so much and am pleased to hear that you’re enjoying it! Things have gotten chilly where I am now, but I bet your stew is just the thing to warm me up.

  • Looks sooo good. I love sweet potatoes!

    Perfect fall dinner for when it’s cold and windy outside.

  • I’m reading this from my office at work, wearing a snuggie and shivering but reading about this yummy-sounding stew positively warmed me up. After being a lifelong picky eater, I just discovered sweet potatoes. I don’t make a lot of meat for myself, but I think my family would LOVE this. I;m actually super into the kale and sweet potato soup. I’ll be making one (or both) of these very soon.

    Keep having fun in St. Louis! It sounds magical. :-)

  • St Louis is one of the few cities I vivited in the US and I loved it. Is my fiancée home town and that explains a lot about him and the reason why I love him –he’s a little hunted, too :)
    we didn’t eat stew, unfortunately, but went to a thai restaurant (pretty tasty!) and than to the zoo, and this is when I found uot puffins are my favorite animals and bought a keychain with a puffin that now is our Italian-exotic pet. It sounds confusing, I know…I think I need stew and calm down :)

  • I have a bit of a phobia of stews but I think I need to embrace the fear because this looks delicious and perfect for this time of year!

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