My memories of beef stew growing up was that it came out of a can and tasted pretty bad. My mother was not a very good cook. She was however very good at opening cans. Consequently, I never really cared much for beef stew.
This weekend we had friends over for dinner. At first, we were thinking pizza. No, we just did that a couple of weeks ago with this crew. So I decided to cook but wanted to keep it simple. I also wanted to clean out the freezer a bit since winter is coming and there might be some stuff in there that needs to get cooked. I went rummaging. I found tri-tip steaks.
“Am I going to grill these things before next summer?”
Probably not. Stew. Problem solved.
This cut makes a wonderful stew. The packages of stew meat you find in the store consist of cubes from different cuts. Some are very lean which makes for a healthier dish, but less flavor. A good tri-tip is well marbled and the extra fat makes this stew quite tasty. You’ll note no potatoes in this stew. I served the stew over plain rice. Add potatoes if you wish. We had homemade cornbread and salad on the side. A crusty bread works too. Readers with a keen eye will notice this recipe is similar to Mike’s Pot Roast. You caught me.
As much as I love making this stew I have a confession to make. I’ve been making beef stew with top blade steak. I’m not going to change the name of this stew. But I should. Good tri-tip has been hard to find at the stores but one store always seems to have top blade steaks in their meat case. Well marbled too.
If you decide to use top blade keep the steaks whole and brown on both sides. The rest of the instructions are the same. Prior to serving pull the steaks apart with two forks into bite sized chunks. This particular cut will make the most tender beef stew you ever had.
A lot better than canned too.
Tri-Tip Beef Stew
- 1.5 to 2 lbs boneless tri-tip roast, well marbled, cut into one inch cubes
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1 T butter (optional)
- 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 stalk celery, small dice
- 1 carrot, peeled, small dice
- 3-4 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 1/2 lb white mushrooms, rinsed and quartered
- 1/2 lb frozen organic green peas
- 1/2 C Sweet Marsala wine
- BIG Pinch dried thyme
- 2-3 T tomato paste with basil
- 1 C low sodium beef broth
- Salt and pepper
- In a cast iron enamel covered pot heat 2 T of oil on medium high heat. Brown beef cubes in pot, several minutes on each side. You might need to do this in batches to allow a good browning of the meat.
- When beef is browned add the onions, small dice carrot, and celery to the pot and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic, mushrooms and a pinch of thyme, and saute for another minute. Add the Marsala wine and continue to saute until the alcohol evaporates. Add tomato paste, beef broth and mix thoroughly.
- Cover and adjust the heat down to a low simmer.
- Cook for 2 hours, or longer.
- Approximately 45 minutes before serving add 1 T butter (optional) and the remaining carrot chunks. Reduce heat back to low.
- Around 10 minutes before serving, add 1/2 pound frozen organic green peas.
- Simmer on low heat until peas are heated through.
- Adjust for seasoning, salt and pepper to taste.