A classic beef stew recipe, made even better with parsnips! It’s easy, comforting, and the sweet parsnips compliment the hearty beef perfectly.
It’s soup weather. Enough said. The question isn’t if you are going to make soup or not, but what type of soup you are going to make.
For my most recent soup weather craving, I wanted to make a classic and satisfying beef stew but with my own touch—lots of parsnips!
Parsnips have a history in my family. When we make chicken soup, my mom and I always bicker about how many parsnips to use. I stick to my grandma’s age-old chicken soup recipe which calls for 2 or 3 parsnips, but my mom likes to put in 4 or 5, or more. Honestly, she’ll add however many she can sneak in while I’m not looking . . . probably because I’m texting. Oops. But I’m a millennial so you can’t even blame me.
I’m a parsnip lover, don’t get me wrong. But for my personal taste, a large amount of parsnips in chicken soup give the broth a distinctly sweet flavor, which takes away from the rich and savory flavor of the chicken. I prefer less sweet parsnip flavor and more unadulterated chicken flavor in my chicken soup. That’s just my two cents. Whew, it feels good to rant about this to somebody besides my mom.
That being said, I think tons of parsnips are absolutely divine in a classic beef stew! Because the beef has such a deep and strong flavor, the parsnips don’t overwhelm the stew. But they still add the perfect touch of sweetness when biting into a parsnip, which balances so beatifically with the hearty beef and potatoes. See Mom, I do like parsnips.
Besides being delicious, hearty, and parsnipy (now my mom’s going to tell me that “parsnipy” is misspelled but I’m just further proving my love of parsnips by creating a whole new parsnip word), this beef stew is easy to put together! You basically chop your vegetables, brown your meat, and throw everything into the pot to simmer away and make your house smell so warm and cozy in a way that only stew can. That’s right, it’s another one pot meal (have you caught on to the fact that I really like one pot meals and more importantly really dislike doing dishes?). Serve it straight from the simmering pot with a sprig of thyme and your favorite crusty bread. Enjoy!
PS: I have to ask. How many parsnips do you put in your chicken soup? Tell me it’s not 5…
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 pounds stew meat (boneless chuck roast), cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 onion, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 ounces tomato paste (half of a 6-ounce can)
- 3 cups water
- ½ pound red or white potatoes (not russet), cut into chunks
- 1 pound parsnip, cut into chunks
- ½ pound carrots, cut into chunks
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- Thyme for garnish (optional)
- In a large bowl, combine flour, a dash of salt, and a dash of pepper.
- Add stew meat to the flour, stirring to coat each piece.
- In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat. In batches, add a single layer of meat to the pot and brown on all sides (5-6 minutes). Transfer browned meat to a plate and repeat with the next batch.
- After all the meat is browned and set aside, add the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil, onion, garlic, and tomato paste. Sauté until fragrant (about 2 minutes).
- Add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan as it starts to boil. Add beef, potatoes, parsnips, carrots, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to low.
- Cover and simmer for 2-3 hours, until meat is fork-tender. Stir in vinegar. Enjoy!