Beef stew is one of my go-to comfort meals, and this beef stew with brown butter noodles is pure comfort.
The recipe is not terribly difficult to make, and most of the time is inactive. The only fussy part is slicing and dicing and browning. Don’t rush the browning process; it’s what gives you layers and layers of flavor in your stew.
How to make this beef stew with brown butter noodles:
You’ll start the stew by developing a robust flavor profile by going through multiple rounds of browning.
How to brown the ingredients
- Step 1: The beef. Cook the beef in batches, and don’t overcrowd the pot; otherwise, you’ll have sweaty meat instead of nicely browned crisp bits.
- Step 2: The mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms by themselves so they can adequately sweat out all their excess water and turn a nice golden brown color. They’ll also give you a little extra layer of fond to the pot, which means more robust flavor in your stew.
- Step 3: The mirepoix. Lastly, cook up all the stew aromatics. Sauté them until the carrots develop a nice little golden crust around the edges. You’ll need about 4 cups total of aromatics, so if you want to get creative with what you add, have at it! Try it with leeks, shallots, or diced bell peppers, or throw in a diced turnip, celery root, or rutabaga. Just try to limit yourself to a total of 4 cups of vegetables.
How to make the rest of the stew
After you go through those batches, it’s just a matter of layering in the remaining ingredients. Start with the butter, garlic, and thyme, then add the flour to form a slurry, work in the liquid, and then return the beef and mushrooms to the pot. It’s definitely a good 30 minutes of active, upfront cooking, but once all that work is done, it’s just inactive simmering time.
You can serve this stew over mashed potatoes or with cheesy grits, but I think my brown butter noodles are just fantastic. We used to make buttered egg noodles as a side dish growing up, and they just work so well with this beef stew.
They’ll seem a bit dry coming out of the pot, but that’s intentional because they’re meant to soak up all that thick beef stew broth while adding a nice nutty, buttery, garlicky flavor of their own. It’s so, so delicious!
Ok, I’m sure you’re ready to start cooking. Make this today and have on-demand comfort for the rest of the week. You’ll thank me, I promise!
Beef Stew with Brown Butter Noodles
- Large pot
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 pounds beef stew cubes
- 2 teaspoons black pepper (freshly cracked, preferably)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1–2 tablespoons neutral oil, for frying
- 8 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil, if needed
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 3 ribs celery, trimmed and sliced on a bias
- 4 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds on a bias
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 heaping teaspoon dry thyme
- ¼ cup flour
- 4 cups of water or beef stock plus 1–2 cups more
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Salt and pepper to taste
Brown butter noodles:
- 16 ounces wide egg noodles
- 5 tablespoons butter, cut into evenly-sized pieces
- ⅓ cup loosely packed fresh parsley, minced
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the beef:
- Add the flour, black pepper, salt, and paprika to a large bowl and stir to combine.
- Blot off any excess liquid from the beef. Add it to the bowl with the flour and toss to coat.
Brown the beef:
- Heat 1 tablespoon neutral oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the beef in an even layer. Do not overcrowd the pot; you will likely need to brown the beef in batches. Cook for 3–5 minutes on each side until browned all over. Transfer to a large bowl and keep the pot on medium-high heat. Add more oil, as needed, while browning the beef.
Cook the mushrooms:
- Add the sliced mushrooms to the pot. Cook, turning occasionally, for 7–8 minutes until lightly browned. Continue cooking for an additional 2–3 minutes until deep golden brown. Season lightly with salt and transfer to the bowl with the beef.
Sauté the mirepoix:
- If the pot is dry, add another drizzle of neutral oil. Turn the heat to medium and add the onion, celery, and carrots. Season all over with salt and pepper. Cook, turning occasionally, for 7–8 minutes until the onions are translucent and the carrots begin to brown around the edges.
- Melt the butter in the pot and add the garlic and thyme. Toss to coat and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
Simmer the stew:
- Sprinkle the flour over the aromatics and toss to coat. Cook for 1–2 minutes until nutty and aromatic. Add ½ cup of the water or beef stock and whisk to form a slurry. Continue adding the liquid, in ½-cup increments until all 4 cups of liquid have been incorporated.
- Return the beef and mushrooms to the pot. Add the remaining 1–2 cups liquid if needed to ensure the beef is completely submerged with liquid. Taste and season the broth with more salt and pepper, if needed. Note: You may need to add more liquid as the beef cooks. You can use additional beef stock or continue adding water if the broth of the stew evaporates too quickly.
- Reduce the heat on the beef stew to low. Cover and simmer and 1½ hours or until the beef is very tender. Check the stew occasionally and add more liquid as needed.
Finish the stew:
- Uncover the stew and simmer for an additional 15–20 minutes, uncovered. Taste and season once more to your preferences.
- Add the frozen peas and cook for 5 minutes until warmed through and bright green. Turn off the heat.
Prepare the noodles:
- As the stew finishes simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse and set aside. Wipe out the pot and return it to the stovetop.
- Turn the heat to medium and add the butter. Whisk often for 5–7 minutes until it turns golden brown and takes on a nutty aroma. As soon as the butter browns, add the garlic and parsley and turn off the heat. Stir constantly off the heat for at least 30 seconds to cook the garlic and prevent the butter from burning.
- Once the butter is nice and fragrant and garlicky, add the cooked noodles and toss to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste. If your noodles are cold, you can return the pot to the stovetop and warm them up over gentle heat right before serving.
- Divide the cooked noodles between bowls and pile the stew on top. Enjoy!