Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

mom's stew (a family recipe)

Recipe by
Cindy Pritchett
Mays Landing, NJ

If I had a family recipe, this would be it. My Mom's stew is what brings the family (all of us grown) home for dinner. Although the recipe looks complicated, it's really just time-consuming- but so worth it. Best served with French/Italian bread and butter.

yield 12 +
prep time 2 Hr
cook time 4 Hr
method Stove Top

Ingredients For mom's stew (a family recipe)

  • 1 lb
    beef round cubes (cut into bitesize pieces)
  • 1 Tbsp
    olive oil
  • 1/2 c
  • 1/2 md
    onion (chopped fine)
  • 1 tsp
    salt (or salt to taste)
  • 1/2 Tbsp
    parsley flakes
  • 1/2 tsp
    pepper ( or pepper to taste)
  • 2
    beef boullion cubes
  • 1-2 can
    tomato soup
  • 4-5
    carrots (cut small)
  • 4-6
    potatoes (cut small)
  • 1-2 can
  • 1 Tbsp
  • water (as needed)

How To Make mom's stew (a family recipe)

  • 1
    This recipe is very customizable. The current amounts are for a large family and leftovers. Mom's stew freezes very nicely and can be warmed up in the microwave.
  • 2
    Use a large pot, the kind you would expect to use for soup or stew. I use a 7-quart Lodge-iron Dutch oven. A taller, slimmer pot will take a bit more work to thicken. A wider, lower pot will thicken quickly, but may also burn easier and needs to be watched closely.
  • 3
    Pour the olive oil into the bottom of the pot. It should be just enough to cover the bottom (approximately 1 TBSP.) Heat the oil on medium.
  • 4
    Place your meat into the flour and coat each piece completely. Then, place the floured meat into the pot (in the olive oil) to sauté.
  • 5
    Stir the floured meat to begin browning. Add the onion and keep stirring. Once the meat is brown, and the onions are translucent; add just enough water to cover the meat.
  • 6
    Once the meat, onion, and flour thicken, turn the heat down to low. Add 2-3 more cups of water so it does not stick.
  • 7
    At this point, you may want to add some salt, but be careful, you can always add more salt later.
  • 8
    Add parsley, pepper, and beef cubes. Cook on low until mixture reaches a boil.
  • 9
    Add one can of tomato soup and one can of water. Stir. Stirring is a very important part of this recipe.
  • 10
    At this point add your carrots and potatoes. These should be similar in size and thickness so that all vegetables will cook evenly.
  • 11
    Bring your stew to a simmer. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • 12
    At this point, you want to check the color of your stew. You are looking for a rich, reddish-brown color. If the color looks "bleak," you may want to add another can of tomato soup.
  • 13
    Check the balance of your carrots and potatoes. Make sure you have the balance you prefer. For example, My Dad likes a lot of carrots. So, our stew has more carrots than potatoes. However, if you prefer, you can add more potatoes. Remember, the larger your pieces, the longer your stew will need to cook. More importantly, you should always try to keep everything at an even size.
  • 14
    Continue to stir and simmer until you can easily break a carrot and potato in half with a wooden spoon.
  • 15
    After the carrots and potatoes are cooked through, add one can of peas WITH the water from the can. Check the balance of the peas, carrots, and potatoes. If you think the stew should have more peas, add a second can but DO NOT add the water from a second can.
  • 16
    Make a slurry using cornstarch and warm water (1/2 C.). Add your slurry to the stew.
  • 17
    Continue to stir and simmer on low heat until your stew is thickened and ready.