To make a tasty beef stew without hassle, use a Dutch oven and beef chuck. This recipe calls for browning the meat on the stove and finishing the stew in the oven.
Pour enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of the Dutch oven over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Cut 2 1/2 pounds beef chuck into 2-inch cubes, season and dredge the cubes in flour. Sauté the cubes in portions, stirring occasionally until browned. Remove the cubes, and keep on the side.
Add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter to the Dutch oven and melt. Next, toss in 2 medium onions, cut into sixths, sautéing until slightly browned. After this, put in 5 cloves of minced garlic, cook for a minute, then add 1 tablespoon tomato paste, and cook for another minute. Return the beef cubes to the pot, and add 10 cups of beef broth, bringing the mixture to a simmer before putting in 6 sprigs of parsley, 6 sprigs of fresh thyme and 2 bay leaves tied together. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and stew in the oven, covered at 275 F for 90 minutes.
Remove from the oven and mix in 1 1/4 pounds of quartered medium red potatoes; 4 medium carrots and 2 celery stalks (cut into 2-inch pieces); and 7 canned whole, peeled tomatoes, lightly crushed. Stew uncovered at a simmer for about 60 minutes, and then add 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper before serving.