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Remarkable Old Fashioned Slow Cooked Beef and Mushroom Stew

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Oshrit Abergil – @oshritabergil
For a cozy family dinner, this slow cooked beef and mushroom stew makes the perfect recipe.
Prep Time :5 minutes
Cook Time :4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time :4 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 2.2 pounds/1 kilogram beef shoulder or beef shank, diced into 2 inches thick pieces
  • 250 grams shiitake mushrooms
  • 250 grams portobello mushrooms
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • Boiling water to cover


  • Saute the onions until golden brown, then add the meat and sauté for about 5 minutes while stirring.
  • Add the mushrooms, spices, and soy sauce, and mix well. Pour boiling water into the pot until the meat is fully covered. Boil over high heat for 10 minutes.
  • Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 4 hours. Stir occasionally and add water if needed.
  • Remove the cover and simmer for an additional 7 minutes to reduce the liquid.


  • If the meat is tender, follow the preparation steps, but reduce the cooking time to about 2 hours.
  • If using beef ribs, be aware that the cooking time may be longer.


slow cooked beef and mushroom stew recipe
Credit: Oshrit Abergil

What is the secret to tender meat in this slow cooked beef and mushroom stew?

The secret to tender stew meat lies in choosing the right cut and employing slow, gentle cooking methods. Opt for tougher, collagen-rich cuts like beef shoulder or shank, as they break down during cooking, imparting a rich, succulent texture. The key is low and slow – simmering the meat at a gentle heat for an extended period, allowing connective tissues to melt, resulting in tender, flavorful meat.

Additionally, marinating the meat beforehand can enhance tenderness, infusing it with seasonings. Patience is paramount; resist the temptation to rush the process. The result is a melt-in-your-mouth stew with meat that effortlessly yields to the fork.

Does stew meat get softer the longer you cook it?

Yes, stew meat becomes progressively softer the longer it cooks. The collagen in tougher cuts gradually breaks down into gelatin, resulting in a more tender and succulent texture. Extended cooking times at low temperatures allow for this transformation, rendering the meat fork-tender and infused with rich flavors.

The slow simmering process not only softens the meat but also enhances the overall depth and complexity of the stew. However, it’s crucial to find the right balance, as overcooking can lead to mushiness. A patient approach, with periodic checks for desired tenderness, ensures a perfectly cooked stew with meat that effortlessly yields.

Why won’t my stew beef get tender?

Several factors could prevent stew beef from achieving the desired tenderness. Choosing the wrong cut is a common mistake; opting for lean cuts with less collagen might result in toughness. Inadequate cooking time at low temperatures hinders collagen breakdown. Insufficient moisture or not covering the meat fully during cooking can lead to dryness and toughness. High heat or rapid boiling can also toughen the meat instead of rendering it tender.

Marinating the meat in acidic ingredients or tenderizing agents before cooking may help. It’s essential to adjust cooking methods and ensure the right cut, temperature, and duration for a tender, flavorful stew.

slow cooked beef and mushroom stew recipe
Credit: Oshrit Abergil

How to brown the meat to make the best slow cooked beef and mushroom stew

Browning stew meat before cooking is not mandatory, but it significantly enhances flavor and texture. This step involves searing the meat in a hot pan to create a Maillard reaction, resulting in a golden-brown crust. This process adds depth and richness by caramelizing the surface proteins, intensifying the overall taste of the stew. While skipping this step won’t ruin the dish, it’s recommended for those seeking a more robust and flavorful outcome. Browning contributes to the complex layers of taste in the stew, elevating the culinary experience.

Can I use a different type of mushroom in this recipe?

Absolutely, you can easily customize the mushroom variety in this slow cooked beef and mushroom stew recipe to suit your taste. While the original calls for shiitake and portobello mushrooms, you can experiment with alternatives like cremini, white button, or wild mushrooms for a unique flavor profile. Each type contributes its distinct taste and texture, allowing for creative variations.

slow cooked beef and mushroom stew recipe
Credit: Oshrit Abergil

What side dishes complement this beef and mushroom stew?

Consider serving this slow cooked beef and mushroom stew alongside crusty artisan bread or fluffy rice to absorb the savory juices. Mashed potatoes provide a comforting and hearty accompaniment, creating a well-rounded meal. Steamed or roasted vegetables, such as asparagus or carrots, add freshness and balance to the rich flavors of the stew. A crisp green salad with a zesty vinaigrette can offer a refreshing contrast.

slow cooked beef and mushroom stew recipe
Credit: Oshrit Abergil

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