Comforting Beef Stew: #35 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

The deep comfort of this beef stew makes me want to cry. Soft, warm potatoes, tender chunks of beef, all simmering and melding together in a well-seasoned gravy-like sauce. Each spoonful tastes like a warm hug.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($18 total)

1 lb sirloin steak tips – $10.49
2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20
1 tbsp butter – $0.16
1 onion, diced – $0.50
1 cup crimini mushrooms, sliced – $2.29
4 cloves garlic, minced – $0.15
1 cup red wine – $0.62
6 potatoes, cubed – $1.08
1 cup carrots, sliced – $0.46
3 cups water – free
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce – $0.20
1/2 cup tomato sauce – $0.20
2 bay leaves – $0.20
1 tsp each oregano, paprika, sage, salt and pepper – $1.12


1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil and brown the beef on all sides over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, then remove to a bowl.

2. In the same pot, on top of the meat drippings, add the butter, onions, mushrooms, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes until the onion is soft, then add the wine and cook for 10 minutes to reduce the liquid.

Add in the browned meat, chopped potatoes, carrots, water, Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, bay leaves, oregano, paprika, sage, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then turn heat down to medium-low and let simmer for 1 hour or until meat and potatoes are tender.

3. Stir in 1/4 cup flour to thicken, and let cook for 5 minutes more. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. I like to serve this for dinner with biscuits or even on its own. It’s also fantastic as leftovers or in thermoses for kid school lunches.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings:  3 = >6 servings
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 1 = wowzers (beef)
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

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