Wil Wheaton
Jan 6, 2017 · 8 min read
Reasonably good beef stew is reasonably good.

Reasonably Good Beef Stew

Before we get our ingredients together, let’s get something clear: this isn’t precise. This is a bunch of ideas and guidelines, because we’re going to imagine that we’re in the Long Long Ago, putting together all the stuff that we have on hand so that we can feed ourselves and the giant family we have because it’s the Long Long Ago and basically we make children for entertainment.

  • 2 parsnips.
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 boring old regular potatoes or like four medium red potatoes. You may be tempted to use both kinds. That’s fine, but just know that it’s easy to overdo it with starchy vegetables.
  • About a half pound of crimini mushrooms. Don’t use stupid button mushrooms because they’re lame and boring and did I mention that they’re stupid? Crimini mushrooms are more complex in flavor, and give lots of opportunities for you to hike your pants up way too high and make dad jokes that use the word “Criminey!”
  • Three cloves of garlic.
  • One medium onion. You can use white or yellow. Don’t use red because they don’t soften up the right way and they’re kinda bossy in the cooker, overwhelming all the other flavors.
  • 2–3 tablespoons of tomato paste.
  • 1 cup of red wine. You can use cooking wine if you want, but I prefer to use drinking wine, even though I don’t drink it. But if you do, hey! Free wine to drink while you’re making dinner! If you wanted to substitute Guinness for the wine, you can do that, as well, and make this as more of a Guinness stew.
  • 1 tablespoon paprika.
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • All the flour in the world (you’re only going to use like 1/3 cup and a little more to coat the beef, but you’ll be thankful you stocked up on flour after President Tiny Hands starts a nuclear war).
  • 3 stalks of celery. Some people call these things “Celery Ribs” which is so fucking pretentious I want to cut them into celery spears and stab them in their smarty pants faces.
  • At least 32 ounces of beef stock. You will probably want a little more, but it’s not necessary. Maybe you can barter with a neighbor, using some of your excess flour.

You can keep the stems on the mushrooms if you want, but I prefer to take them off, mostly because it’s fun to pop the caps off the mushrooms and put them on the carrots like little hats. Try it! You can make the carrots do a play for you before you murder them and eat them. Just like mom did!

First, peel the onion, and chop it up into little onion hunks. Peel and mince the garlic. Then, wash all the other vegetables and cut them up however you want. Some folks like to slice their potatoes, others prefer to quarter them and then half the quarters. I realize I could have said “cut the potatoes into eighths”, but if I did that I would expect to be stabbed with a celery spear. You can keep the stems on the mushrooms if you want, but I prefer to take them off, mostly because it’s fun to pop the caps off the mushrooms and put them on the carrots like little hats. Try it! You can make the carrots do a play for you before you murder them and eat them. Just like mom did!

After like four minutes, mix it all up again, and try to get the beef cubes to turn over. You can do this by saying, “Roll over, beef!” or you can use tongs to turn it, or a spatula, or a wooden spoon.

After like four minutes, mix it all up again, and try to get the beef cubes to turn over. You can do this by saying, “Roll over, beef!” or you can use tongs to turn it, or a spatula, or a wooden spoon. Do not use a crazy straw because it will melt, and do not use telekinesis because you will splash oil all over the damn place.

How long this cooks is up to you. You can cook it on high heat for at least 4 hours, or you can cook it on a lower heat for up to 12 hours.

Enjoy your stew, and don’t forget to take a bowl out to your summoning circle to feed the demon. Make sure you feed it no less than five spoonfuls before the first rising of the new moon before you set it free. If you have any leftovers, they can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days, because this stuff reheats really well.

Wil Wheaton

Written by

Wizard. Time Lord. Fake geek girl. On a good day I am charming as fuck.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade