Beef & Mushroom Stew

A classic recipe for beef and mushroom stew. On the table and flavorful within an hour, better still the next day.

Butchers of the world, listen up, please! Meat is way too confusing!

It’s no wonder we cooks turn to what we know again and again. Think chicken breasts, pork tenderloin, baby back ribs, even hamburger. Now these are easy: they are easily recognized in the meat cooler and we know how to cook them.

But what’s all that other stuff?

I once condensed a primer on pork cuts – and still have no idea what to buy, especially since the names vary. Who would guess that a pork butt is just another Boston shoulder? Have you ever seen a hog with a butt for a shoulder? Not me.

And my eyes glaze over at the thought of cutting up a whole chicken, even though all “real” cooks say it’s easy and economical. The search engine Google cites 14,000 web pages that explain how. Do you suppose that’s more pages than people who actually do it?

But here’s one I’ve figured out – add it to the “easy” list. For pot roast or any stew where the meat cooks a long time, or a shorter time in liquid, look for beef labeled “chuck roast”. Here’s a little memory tip, just think: “Let’s invite Chuck over for Sunday pot roast.” Got it. Easy!

ALANNA's TIPS Pre-packaged stew meat can come from any part of a cow and is often grained with fat that’s difficult to remove. For a leaner cut, purchase about a pound and a half of chuck roast. Allow an extra 15 minutes to cut the meat into chunks, discarding slices of fat and connective tissue.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Send a favorite stew recipe e-mail.


Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 60 minutes
Makes 7 one-cup servings
  • 1 pound beef stew meat (or 1-1/2 pounds chuck roast, see TIP)
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 16 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon basil, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 cup beef or chicken broth
  • 1 cup red wine (or additional broth)
  • 15 ounces canned diced tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cut meat into one-inch chunks while heating a Dutch oven on medium high. Add meat, then chop and add onions and garlic, stirring occasionally. When meat is partially browned, add mushrooms and stir occasionally until mushrooms begin to soften. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, basil and thyme until evenly distributed. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, about three minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, about 40 minutes or until meat is tender. Season to taste and serve over potatoes or cornbread with a salad and vegetable.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per cup: 225Cal; 16g Protein; 12g Tot Fat; 12g Carb; 2g Fiber; 622mg Sodium; 43mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 5 points

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna