Beef stew is one of the most simple dishes there is and if you enjoy making soup recipes such as classic French onion soup, you should also find stews to be easy to make. A stew is basically a very thick, chunky soup, so the two dishes are not all that different.

Different Kinds of Beef Stew

There are various beef stew recipes. Some are very simple and just combine meat, potatoes and perhaps one vegetable with water and herbs or bouillon. Others are spiced or contain fresh or dried herbs. There are international recipes for beef stew and you can add one or two ingredients to an existing recipe to give the dish a more exotic flavor.

For example, add a little Burgundy wine for a taste of France, some fresh basil for an Italian flavor or a little curry powder for an Indian touch. What about using corn kernels and cilantro for a taste of Mexico? Beef stew is versatile and you can tinker with such a recipe, to discover new ways of making it delicious.

The following recipe serves four people and it is a one-pot meal, since it contains meat, potatoes, vegetables and plenty more. This is a sweet and especially juicy stew, thanks to the apple juice and sweet potato.

The celery, onion, tomatoes, butternut squash and carrots add flavor and color, as well as nutrients, and the broth, salt and pepper are the only other flavors required, since the beef itself gives this wonderful stew recipe most of its flavor.

What you will need:

1 1/2 lbs lean beef, in 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 trimmed, diced stalks celery
1 diced yellow onion
1 cup apple juice
14 1/4 oz can beef broth
1 peeled sweet potato, in 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes in juice
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 peeled carrots, in 1 inch pieces
1 peeled, de-seeded butternut squash, in 1/2 inch cubes
How to make it:

Heat the vegetable oil in a pot over a moderate to high heat, and then add the carrots, celery, and onion. Cook for about four minutes or until the vegetables are golden brown. Take them out of the oil using a slotted spoon.

Turn the heat down to medium and add the meat. Brown it on all sides for about eight minutes, then add the flour and stir well. Cook for three minutes, stirring sometimes. Add the broth and scrape any stuck-on bits off the bottom of the pot.

Add the apple juice and tomatoes and let the mixture reach a boil. Turn the heat down to moderately low, cover the pot and cook the stew for forty five minutes. Add the sweet potato, butternut squash and onion mixture and keep cooking until the vegetables and meat are tender. This will take about fifty minutes. Season to taste and serve.

You might like to make a classic French onion soup if you enjoy making stew recipes, either choosing an authentic French onion soup recipe or one of the many other versions of this delicious dish. - Simple, Elegant, Perfection; Soup the Way it Was Meant to Be!