A few relaxing moments can make someone’s day. This is easily done by inviting them to a hearty homemade meal. You can make cider beef stew a day or so ahead and then all you have to do is reheat it on the stove. Serve it with cornbread and perhaps spiced or spiked cider.
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 pounds beef stew meat
- 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- 2 onions, sliced
- 1 celery rib, sliced
- 2½ cups apple cider
- 1 cup beef broth
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 3 medium-sized russet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch (optional)
- Combine flour, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle over beef and toss to coat.
- Heat oil in a large (7-quart) Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat.
- Working in batches, add the beef to the pot and brown on all sides. Do not brown the beef all at once. Transfer browned beef to a plate.
- Reduce heat to medium and add onions and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally until onions have softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add browned beef, cider, broth, and vinegar. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 1 hour.
- Add carrots and stir to combine. Cover and cook for 1 hour.
- Add potatoes, apple, and thyme. Stir to combine. Cover and cook until potatoes are tender, about 30 to 45 minutes.
- Taste and adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper.
- For a thicker stew, dissolve cornstarch in 2 tablespoons cold water and stir in, a little at time, until desired consistency is reached, during the final 10 minutes of cooking.