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Comfort Food (not just for holidays)

If you’re anything like me, you have a collection of cookbooks and cooking magazines to fill a small library. And I mean top shelf dusty. I have some magazines dating back to the 90s (that I still haven’t tried) and a classic, first edition 1958 Betty Crocker “Dinner for Two” cookbook that my Grandma gave me in 2000. It’s falling apart, it doesn’t have crazy-fabulous recipes like what you see today, but I will always cherish it (and use it). It looks like it was written with a typewriter and illustrated with retro how-to draw sketches. It kind of reminds me of Amelia Bedelia! I love this book.

I’ll share some recipes on that later! But for this post I had to share this amazing recipe for Beef Stew and the way it came about for me to try it. Most of the time when I want to try a new recipe, I’m either doing Blue Apron or searching online for something specific since it’s usually quick and easy to find something that way. I decided to take use of what I’ve had in the kitchen for decades and actually make something. I’ve made this Beef Stew now at least 10 times since August because it’s SO good and comforting and delicious and….oh so yum for the soul that I can’t stop myself. I have made new things in between but honestly until it gets too hot outside to eat, I will keep making it!

So here it is with the original recipe. I’ll comment on what I do a touch differently including a crock pot version! I love a good crock pot recipe and this accommodated nicely.

 

Hands-on Time: 45 min. Total Time: 2 hr., 45 min.

To cut down on prep time, buy 2 lb. of stew meat instead of a roast.

1 (2 3/4-lb) boneless chuck roast, trimmed

5 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, divided

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. garlic salt

3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/8 tsp. ground allspice

2 bay leaves

4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 celery ribs, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 large red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

3 small onions, each cut into 6 wedges

1 small green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

 

  1. Cut roast into 1-inch cubes. Place beef and 1/4 cup flour in a zip-top plastic bag; seal bag, and shake vigorously to coat.
  2. Heat oil in a large Dutch over over medium-high heat. Add beef, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned. Add Worcestershire sauce, next 5 ingredients, and 4 cups water; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 1 hour.
  3. Add carrots and next 4 ingredients to beef mixture; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 1 hour or until vegetables and beef are tender, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaves.
  4. Combine remaining 1 Tbsp. flour and 3 Tbsp. water, stirring well; stir into stew. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; boil, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Makes 11 1/2 cups.

My variations:

I don’t like green peppers so I use more carrots and potatoes. You can easily add more water to accommodate any extra vegetables without compromising the flavor. For a crock pot version, cook the meat like the directions suggest (just til browned) and then dump everything in the crock pot and simmer on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6. For the last half hour, that’s when you’ll want to take some of the broth and mix with the flour then pour back in to get it thickened. Make sure you test this out the first time you try it so you can learn what’s best for the crock pot you use. Another option is to use a whole chuck roast without cutting it and when it’s ready, shred it.

Try serving with these memorable Parker House Rolls!

Merry Christmas!

~Sarah

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