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Family Meal: John Sobojinski's Beef Stew

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Back of House

John Sobojinski, Sous Chef at Lilia

John started in restaurants as a busboy in his home state of Wisconsin when he was fifteen years old. Since then he’s worked at thirteen different restaurants, holding every possible position including general manager of a top-rated restaurant in Duluth, MN. He moved to New York City in 2014 to work as a sous chef, first for Jean-Georges Vongerichten at his ABC restaurants before landing at Lilia.

Cooking means a lot to me. I love to learn about food, experiment, and make people smile with a single bite of a dish. When I’m not in the kitchen, I enjoy sports (go pack go!), movies, camping, spending time with family, and exploring new cities.

Growing up my favorite dinner was beef stew. I know it’s not really stew season anymore, but this is a personal recipe that I believe can be enjoyed anytime.

Beef Stew

3 lbs beef stew meat, cubed
.5 cups leeks
1 cup carrots
3 cups potatoes
.5 cups corn
.5 cups peas
1.5 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 quart beef stock
.25 cups tomato paste
2 sprigs of rosemary
4 sprigs of thyme
2 tbsp. soy sauce
.25 tsp. allspice
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 325℉. Season beef with salt and pepper. Sear the meat in a hot, oiled Dutch oven. Remove meat. Cook down tomato paste with garlic and leeks until the paste turns a couple of shades darker (an earthy dark red). Add stock, meat, carrots, rosemary, thyme, soy sauce, and allspice. Place Dutch oven in the oven and cook with the lid slightly vented for 1 hour. Add potatoes, corn, and peas then cook covered for 1 more hour. Add about 2 tablespoons of roux until the stew is a bit looser than the desired thickness. Cook an additional 30 minutes, uncovered. Add salt and pepper to taste. Goes great with some homemade bread!