Sweet and Sour Stew...for Two

Total Time
2hrs 30mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 2 hrs

I adapted this recipe from a now out of print Sunset cookbook, Cooking for Two. I used to buy it and a good chef's knife as a bridal shower present years ago for every wedding. This makes a generous two servings, and can be easily increased.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Combine flour, 1/2 teaspoons salt, and pepper. Dredge meat pieces in flour, shaking off excess.
  2. In a deep 3 to 4 quart pan, melt butter over medium-high heat; add meat and brown well on all sides. Do in batches if necessary. Drain off and discard excess fat.
  3. Return meat to pan with any accumulated juices. Combine catsup, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire, water and remaining 1/2 teaspoons salt; add to meat. Add onion and simmer, covered, for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring once or twice. Check liquid level and add water, as needed.
  4. Add carrots and cook for about 40 minutes longer or until meat and vegetables are fork tender. Check liquid level and add water, as needed. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
  5. Note: You can use olive oil instead of or with the butter. Balsamic vinegar is an OK sub for the wine vinegar, but the wine vinegar gives a better "sour". I often will cut up a medium onion into wedges instead of using boiling onions.
Most Helpful

This was delicious and formed a great gravy along with the really tender meat. Only reason for 4 stars instead of 5 is that I thought it needed something starchy to help counter the sweetness. Next time I'll add some potato chunks and a little extra liquid at the same stage the carrots are added.

Peter J March 04, 2014

This is really good, and I don't even like beef stew much at all. The sweet and sour flavor is a great change of pace though. The only change I made was using a quartered onion instead of the boiling onions, which I've never heard of before. I also stretched the recipe out into four servings by serving it with kale-stuffed polenta, and it made for a great meal. [Tagged, made & reviewed in Please Review My Recipe]

rpgaymer December 02, 2012

DH said to rate this a 5+ star dish. It was comfort food at it's best. I did add some potato chunks (based on Karen67 review) and DH thought if it was served over noodles it should get 10 star's. I guess this is going in my best of 2009 cookbook. I added the potatoes during step 3 along with the onions. I also used beef chuck because we don't care for lamb.I think it should be called Sweet and Sour Stew...for three. There was plenty for three people. Thanks for posting. :)

teresas January 28, 2009