can you use chicken broth for beef stew

Chicken stock is fantastic because it’s essentially a blank sauce, stew, or soup canvas. It picks up and enhances other flavors so well. Bolstered with the sautéed vegetables, browned beef, and aromatics, even chicken stock winds up with great, natural beef flavor.

How to Make Traditional Beef Stew

Stew, at its core, is just meat and vegetables that have been slow-cooked in liquid. You can use any combination you’d like, but this old-fashioned beef stew contains mostly classic ingredients:

  • Beef chuck roast, preferably a cut that is well-marbled (more fat = more tender!).
  • Onion and garlic for a big punch of flavor.
  • Tomato paste adds a richness to the sauce and the acidity helps to break down and tenderize the meat.
  • Flour to thicken the sauce.
  • Red wine for additional flavor and body to the sauce.
  • Chicken broth. Yes, chicken! Why? If you have homemade beef stock, use it! However, most commercially produced beef broths taste rather fake; chicken broths are much richer and complex.
  • Bay leaves and thyme – Aromatics for more flavor!
  • Carrots, potatoes and peas are the staple of a traditional stew.

can you use chicken broth for beef stew

Now, let’s talk about HOW to go about making this stew. When I made the first iteration of this recipe, it was simmered on the stovetop. I mean, it was fine, but it wasn’t oh-my-gosh-fantastic. I wanted fan-freaking-tastic beef stew, so I started experimenting. One of my very favorite stews, Guinness Beef Stew, simmers uncovered in the oven, so I went that route. It was an absolute win again.

You’ll notice that unlike many other beef stew recipes, I don’t sear the meat first. I did this at first, but found that by cooking in the oven uncovered, the exposed meat got a psuedo sear, and, even more importantly, this lets the sauce evaporates a bit, thereby thickening it and concentrating the flavor.

can you use chicken broth for beef stew

A few quick notes to ensure you make the absolute best stew possible!

  • Look for a beef chuck roast that has nice marbling, as it will be more tender. Cut the meat in uniform pieces so it cooks evenly, and don’t cut them too large.
  • I like to use a dry red wine for this stew, I usually grab a cabernet sauvignon. Other good options are merlot, pinot noir, or shiraz.
  • You can omit the red wine if you don’t drink alcohol; replace with additional broth.
  • Feel free to substitute other favorite vegetables if you’d like.
  • To make this in a slow cooker, you will ideally sear the meat since you won’t get that exposed heat from the oven. Do that first using a couple tablespoons of oil, then transfer the meat to the slow cooker. Next, saute the onion, garlic and tomato paste as directed below, then deglaze the pan with the wine. Transfer all of that to the slow cooker. Add the broth, bay leaves, thyme, carrots and potatoes and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. Whisk 1/2 cup flour with 1/2 cup broth and stir into the stew mixture, turn the slow cooker to high and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until thickened. Then proceed with stirring in the peas, parsley, salt and pepper to taste.

can you use chicken broth for beef stew

So there you have it! After many, many attempts at trying to create the most flavorful stew possible with a sauce thick enough to to stand up to multiple dips of bread, I finally nailed it.

Once we hit fall and winter, there is nothing quite better than a big bowl of something warm and hearty, loaded with meat and vegetables, and this beef stew absolutely fits the bill. Enjoy!

Watch the Recipe Video:

can you use chicken broth for beef stew

Not Using Any Bacon

The notion that bacon enhances beef stew should be self-evident. The best way to introduce bacon to your beef stew is to cube it up and then render it slowly in your pot, then add your carrots, onions, and celery, and sauté them for a bit before adding them. Next, add the now-browned bacon bits to the stew. You might be tempted to try to brown the beef in bacon fat, but it will end up smoking and youll wish you hadnt.

can you use chicken broth for beef stew

Chicken stock is fantastic because it’s essentially a blank sauce, stew, or soup canvas. It picks up and enhances other flavors so well. Bolstered with the sautéed vegetables, browned beef, and aromatics, even chicken stock winds up with great, natural beef flavor.

FAQ

Can I use chicken broth instead of beef broth in beef stew?

If you don’t have beef broth, you can use chicken broth as the substitute. Chicken broth adds a mild flavor and light color to dishes. Both broths have nearly identical compositions: The chicken broth calls for chicken instead of beef meat — causing less flavor but retaining a meaty taste as much as it is savory.

Is it OK to use chicken broth with beef?

You absolutely can use chicken broth or bouillon cubes. I’d go easy with the bullion though, it’s usually salty. A couple of tips though: Start by searing the meat well on all sides to develop color and flavor. You’ll also leave some fond in the pot, which you’ll lift off and infuse into your cooking liquid.

Does chicken broth taste the same as beef?

Taste: Beef broth typically has a stronger, richer flavor that can stand on its own or give depth to hearty stews and sauces. Chicken broth, on the other hand, has a milder, lighter flavor, making it the perfect foundation for lighter soups and dishes where its subtler flavor won’t overpower other ingredients.

What gives beef stew the best flavor?

Add spices such as turmeric, coriander and cumin at the early stage of cooking, when you are frying onions and garlic, to enhance the taste of the beef stew. Fresh herbs like coriander and bay leaves also contribute a distinct flavour without making the dish too spicy for the younger members of the family.

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