Package and label properly; store at zero degrees or below for two to three months.
Don’t freeze potatoes; they don’t hold well.
Defrost in the refrigerator. Add varied ingredients during reheating.
Change up side dishes (pasta, polenta, potatoes, crusty bread) to enjoy the sauce or gravy.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 2 hours, 15 minutes
Makes: 8 servings
This recipe adapted from Clifford A. Wright’s “One-Pot Wonders” may be doubled or tripled easily. We’ve doubled the recipe here to facilitate freezing a batch for another meal.
3 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
6 tablespoons unsalted butter or beef suet
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cups cold water
Dredge beef in the flour; season with salt and pepper. In a large heavy flameproof baking casserole or stew pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add the meat, in batches if necessary; brown on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Add onion; cook, stirring and scraping bottom of the pot until softened, about 4 minutes.
Pour in water to barely cover; reduce heat to low. Stir a bit then simmer, partially covered, until tender, about 2 hours. Check for seasoning. Finish with one of the variations below; or freeze half and cook the other half.
Freeze: Divide the finished stew in half. Cook one half following a variation below. Spoon remaining half into a freezer-safe container, leaving about 1-inch headroom. Cool then cover, label and store in freezer up to 3 months.
Cook: Remove half recipe of stew from freezer. Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Place thawed stew in a heavy stew pot; heat to a simmer on low heat. Proceed with a variation from below or create your own.
American style, based on Wright’s basic beef stew: Add 1 pound potatoes (red, white, Yukon gold), peeled cubed; 1 1/2 carrots, scraped, diced; 1 large parsnip, scraped, diced; 1 medium turnip, peeled, diced. Continue cooking and stirring occasionally until everything is very tender, about 1 hour.