We live south of Buffalo New York near the shores of Lake Erie. This region is famous for massive lake effect snow generated by eastern winds blowing hard across the lake picking up moisture. Then it’s dumped when it hits the significant elevation and temperature change of Chautauqua Ridge. You can see how far above the lake we are in our outdoor videos. We receive over 200 inches of snow on average each winter.

The Guy Cooks Lake Effect Snow Storm Chautauqua

See bottom of this post for more pictures of what this really looks like.

When the temperature is in the single digits and the wind is blowing 40 miles per hour I break out the following recipe for a rich hearty stew. This will warm everyone up when they come in and shake off the snow after a long day on the trails skiing or sledding.

This stew is hardy and bursting with velvety complexity. We achieve this with several special ingredients. Salt pork works wonders to flavor the sauce. We use beef stock and chicken stock.

Makes 8-10 Servings              60 Mins Hands-on Time                 4 Hours Total

Ingredients to make Lake Effect Beef Stew

Recipe Ingredients
  • 4 pounds check eye roast
  • 1 table spoons kosher salt
  • 2 medium onion chopped
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt (or 1 teaspoon table salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • vegetable oil (for browning beef)
  • 6 carrots cut into 3/4 to 1 inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves sliced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of medium bodied red wine (merlot, pinot noir)
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 6 ounces of salt pork (rinsed)
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes (peeled cut into 1 inch cubes)
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 packet of unflavored powered gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper
Recipe Steps
  1. Preheat oven to 325F. Cut up approximately 4 pounds of chuck eye roast into 1 1/2 inch square pieces. Dry the meat with paper towels to improve browning. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt.
  2. In enamel Dutch oven or large pot, brown the meat in batches over medium-high heat. Be sure to leave space between each piece to insure good browning. Brown each piece in vegetable oil for 2-3 minutes per side until there is a nice crust. After 2-3 batches this will leave significant browning in the pan. Set the beef aside in a bowl and cover with foil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium. Add 1 table spoon oil. Add onion, carrots, and cook for 4-5 minutes until vegetables soften. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup flour and stir constantly for 1 minute. Make sure all the dry flower is absorbed into the moisture.
  4. Increase heat to medium-high. Add 1 cup of medium body red wine and scrape bottom of pot with wooden spoon. Add beef and any rendered juices, 2 cups beef broth, 2 cups chicken broth, and the salt pork. Bring mixture to a full simmer. Add 2 bay leaves, 6 springs of fresh thyme.
  5. Cover the pot and place in the oven. Cook for 1 hour and half hours. Pull pot from oven and discard bay leaves, thyme and salt pork. Stir in the potatoes, cover pot and place back in the oven. Cook for 1 hour more. Note: Test potatoes for doneness. You should feel no resistance when poking them with a paring knife. If resistance place back in the oven for 10-15 more minutes.
  6. Return pot to stove on medium heat and maintain a slow simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Simultaneously, add one pack of unflavored gelatin to 1/2 cup water. Let this set up for 5 minutes. Stir in the frozen peas and gelatin and cook for about 5 more minutes. Season to taste with Salt and pepper.

The Guy Cooks Lake Effect Beef Stew

Now for pictures of what one Lake Effect storm looks like in real life here at the The Guy Cooks HQ.


The Guy Cooks Jen Shoveling Lake Effect Snow

The Guy Cooks Plowing After Lake Effect Snow Chautauqua NY

The Guy Cooks Barn Studio After Lake Effect Snow