Best Potatoes For Beef Stew

5 Best Potatoes For Beef Stew

It is the perfect winter comfort food to stay warm and cozy with a hearty beef stew. Succulent beef paired with tender vegetables and satisfying potatoes in a rich gravy makes it the ultimate one-pot meal.

Nevertheless, what are the best potatoes for beef stew? Adding texture and thickness to beef stew is best done with starchy potatoes like russet and Yukon gold potatoes. For hearty, broth-based stews, new potatoes are a good choice. Sweet potatoes have a sweeter flavor.

Here’s everything you need to know about the best potatoes for beef stew, whether you’re new to making it or looking for some inspiration. When using potatoes in beef stew, we’ve got some great tips on how to prepare them.

Why Put Potatoes In Beef Stew?

Having beef stew as a child is one of those all-time classic recipes that we remember fondly.

The best way to make the most of tougher cuts of beef is to cook them slowly over a period of time at a low temperature.

Many beef stews also contain vegetables and potatoes. Vegetables are added for flavor, nutrition, and bulk. But why include potatoes in a beef stew?

Adding potatoes to a beef stew makes it the ultimate one-pot meal!

This dish contains the perfect ratio of proteins, carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals thanks to the combination of meats, vegetables, and potatoes.

Potatoes provide slow-release energy, which keeps you full and satisfied for hours.

It tastes amazing, too!

Potatoes can also affect the texture and consistency of a beef stew.

Some potatoes thicken the gravy, creating a rich and flavorsome stew. On the other hand, some potatoes have little effect at all. Therefore, it is crucial to select your potato type carefully.

What Makes A Good Potato For Beef Stew?

In terms of the perfect type of potato for beef stew, there is no hard and fast answer.

When you cook potatoes in a stew, they behave differently depending on the type of stew you are making, and the effect you are aiming for.

Potato thickens gravy, but it will depend on what consistency you were aiming for in the cooked dish, as well as whether you want it to thicken the gravy.

Both of these factors are determined by the amount of starch in the potato. As potatoes cook, they release starch into the juices or gravy, which affects the texture of the potato.

Starchy potatoes will leach a lot of starch into the stew, which thickens it considerably. These potatoes will become soft and crumbly when cooked in stew because of their starch content.

Potatoes with low starch have the opposite properties. They hold their shape well when cooked in liquid and do not tend to thicken.

Best Potatoes For Beef Stew 

Whether you’re cooking a tomato-based stew, a creamy casserole, or a flavorful broth, we’ve got the five best potatoes for beef stew.

Our top 5 picks for the best potatoes for beef stew are:

1. Yukon Gold Potatoes

Potatoes with a yellow gold skin are called Yukon gold potatoes.

Since they have a moderate level of starch, they will contribute to thickening the gravy while also keeping their shape.

In addition, Yukon gold potatoes have thinner outer skins than other types of potatoes, so they can be added to stews without being peeled.

Potato skins are not only nutritious, but also add an incredible depth of flavor to a dish.

The Yukon gold potato is smaller than some other types of potatoes, but it should still be sliced into smaller cubes before being added to a stew. Smaller cubes are better than large chunks as they may take a long time to cook.

In stews based on a rich tomato sauce or a mushroom or lentil broth, these potatoes will add flavor and nutrients without adding too much thickness.

2. Red Potatoes

In general, red potatoes are small, round, and have a distinctive red skin. Their inner flesh is normally white and dense.

When cooked in a stew, red potatoes retain their shape well. They become soft and tender without falling apart.

Because they do not alter the texture of your stew’s gravy, they are perfect for a rich and hearty beef broth.

The red potatoes are quite small, so you can cook them whole within your beef stew. These potatoes also add a splash of red color to cream-based beef stews.

During cooking, you may notice that the skin peels off of the flesh of the red potatoes. This is not necessarily a problem, but it can detract from the overall presentation.

Therefore, if you are dicing red potatoes into smaller chunks for stew, you may want to peel them.

3. Russet Potato

The russet potato is often touted as an ideal potato for beef stew, but they should be handled carefully.

Because russet potatoes have the most starch of all potato varieties, they can have some undesirable effects including thickening stews.

Russet potatoes absorb liquid as they cook, so they will be infused with the flavor of your recipe, but they will also become soft and fall apart.

Additionally, this starch content also ensures that your stew will be thick and rich after cooking. Incidentally, russet potatoes are also excellent for making potato soup!

Russet potatoes tend to fall apart during cooking, resulting in undesirable pieces of skin floating around the stew. Chefs prefer to peel russet potatoes before adding them to a stew.

It is true, however, that peeling these potatoes results in an additional increase in thickening.

4. Sweet Potatoes

In beef stew, sweet potatoes make a great alternative to traditional potatoes.

The natural sweetness perfectly balances out the rich, salty flavors of your beef stew.

In addition to being healthier than normal potatoes, sweet potatoes are also a good source of carbohydrates.

As sweet potatoes are high in starch, they will break down and become soft and mushy when stewed.

To get the best results, peel and dice the potatoes into large chunks before adding them halfway through the cooking process.

For a batch of beef stew to be frozen, sweet potatoes are not a good choice because they can easily become mushy if overcooked. Instead, use a potato that holds its shape, such as red potatoes.

5. New Potatoes

Most people prefer to eat new potatoes gently steamed instead of using them in a stew.

However, new potatoes make a great addition to beef stews when it comes right down to it!

Cooking new potatoes usually doesn’t require peeling, since their skins are thin and waxy. They hold their shape well and don’t turn into mush when cooked in a stew.

New potatoes are also relatively small, so you can add them whole to your recipe. If you prefer, you can slice or dice them instead.

New potatoes have very little starch, so they do not thicken broth at all. You will need a starchy potato like Yukon gold or russet to achieve a rich, thick broth.

Another thing to keep in mind about new potatoes is that they are available in cans. If you don’t have any fresh potatoes in the pantry, a can of new potatoes will suffice.

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