An all-time favorite "comfort food," Beef Stew with puff pastry is easy, delicious and can be made on the stove top or in a slow cooker-either way it's perfect for a chilly evening! Tender bites of seasoned beef in a savory broth with carrots and topped with a buttery puff pastry.
One of the best beef stews I ever made was after Christmas, when we had a bit of leftover beef tenderloin...oh my, it was to die for!
But...that was a special occasion and an expensive cut of meat. Here's a relatively inexpensive, but tasty recipe for good ole' homemade Beef Stew!
Best Cut of Meat for Stew
The best cuts of beef for tender stew are usually sirloin, chuck or rump; however, it isn't necessary to buy the most expensive cut because the beef simmers in the broth and tenderizes naturally.
Have the butcher cube the meat or, slice it into bite sized pieces using a sharp knife.
How to Make Beef Stew
Beef stew is a relatively easy dish to prepare. Here are the steps to follow for the stove top method:
- Saute onions, beef and celery in a little oil in a large Dutch oven
- Add broth, carrots and seasonings
- Bring stew to a boil, and add a flour slurry; combine well
- Cover and continue to cook low until carrots are tender
Make the Puff Pastry
I use store-bought, prepared pastry sheets and they work fine.
- Thaw pastry sheets and roll-out dough onto a lightly floured surface; cut pastry into into fourths
- Place the pieces of pastry on a lightly oiled and floured baking pan
- Coat each pastry with an egg/water mixture and bake for 15 minutes
Slow Cooker Method for Beef Stew with Puff Pastry
If you choose to use a slow cooker for this hearty recipe, simply add all the ingredients into the slow cooker and cook on low setting for 8 hours, or high for 5-6 hours.
How to Make a Flour Slurry to Thicken the Stew
A slurry is a combination of a starch and water that is added to a soup or stew to thicken the dish. Typical starches include cornstarch, arrowroot and flour. To make a thickening slurry, use a 1:1 ratio of water and starch. Mix it together in a measuring cup and add the slurry to your soup or stew near the end of the cooking time.
Beef Stew with Puff Pastry
- 1½ lbs. sirloin seasoned with salt and pepper and cubed
- ½ stick butter , or oil
- ½ large yellow onion diced
- 6 large carrots diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 1 cup sweet peas - (optional) frozen or canned (drain if canned)
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 48 oz. beef broth
- ½ small can tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine -(optional) Merlot, Cabernet, Pinot Noir
- 3 tablespoons flour
- ¾ cup water
- 1 pkg. Puff Pastry from frozen aisle
- 1 whole egg
- 1 teaspoon water
- In large stockpot, melt butter; add onion and celery and cook until tender
- Add seasoned, cubed beef to mixture and allow to brown on all sides
- Add beef broth, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, coriander and carrots; bring to boil; add tomato paste and wine (optional); Reduce heat to medium, cover and allow to cook for about 20 minutes, or until carrots are tender
- If you want to thicken the broth, add a flour slurry (3/4 cup water with 3 tablespoons flour; mix in a separate bowl and add to hot soup); add peas (optional)
- Allow soup to simmer with no lid until it reaches desired consistency
- Season generously with pepper ; taste for salt; remove bay leaves
- Preheat oven to 400ºF
- Lightly oil baking sheet
- Unroll packaged pastry onto a lightly floured surface; cut pastry into fourths and place on baking sheet
- In a small bowl, combine egg and water; brush pastry dough with egg/water combination and place in oven. Bake for 15 minutes.
- When pastry has browned and soup has thickened, remove bay leaves from soup and ladle soup into bowl; top with pastry
- Beef stew usually consists of some potatoes, but I wanted to make a carb-free stew! If you use potatoes, simply peel and cube Yukon gold potatoes and add them when you add the carrots; you may have to add more beef broth, as potatoes absorb liquid.
- If you want to add pasta or barley, do so after the soup is done. Both will cook on a low heat in about 10 minutes. Note: if adding barley, add more water as barley absorbs liquid