This post has been waiting in the wings half-finished for...um...weeks? Along with a few other things that I am very excited to share here. I would like to say that I have good reasons (or even a single good reason) that my last post went live in December. Before Christmas. And now it's March. Mid-March. But I don't. And that's the way it goes, I guess.
Anyway, it's cold today in The Springs. Like, really cold. I already said it was mid-March, right? And this morning I felt like my toes were going to get frostbite on recess duty (they didn't, so you don't have to worry). I spent the aforementioned recess duty fantasizing about warm blankets, crackling fires, sunny beaches, wool socks, cream cheese frosting (that's not embarrassing or even uncommon for me), and hearty beef stew (which is not a weird thing to fantasize about. Own it.). The stew that I have been making lately is sooooo good. And sooooo easy. So I'm gonna make it again this week, and maybe you should too (although Colorado will turn it around, I'm sure - allegedly it'll be in the 70s by Friday).
This recipe was adapted from one by Paula Deen, that wonderful woman, Queen of Butter, master and commander of delicious southern cooking. I changed it up to suit our family's tastes, and we love it. It's one of those simple, one-pot meals that makes your house smell like heaven (if heaven were to smell like a slow-cooked stew, which I think it might, at least in part), is a cinch to throw together, and then you can sit back and forget about it until dinner time. Try it. Love it. The leftovers are great too.
Stew, by nature, is of course a comfort food, but don't limit it to winter. It would be great any time.
Old Fashioned Beef Stew
Ingredients1 1/2 - 2 lbs stew beef (you could probably use any cut of beef, but the stew beef is great - it gets nice and tender after cooking long and slow)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups beef stock
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1-2 cloves of garlic, peeled (this totally depends on how much you love garlic)
2 bay leaves
1 medium onion, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Dash of ground cloves (or ground allspice)
3 large carrots, sliced
3 ribs of celery, chopped
2 medium or 3-4 small parsnips, sliced
2 tablespoons cornstarch
DirectionsBrown the beef pieces in oil.
Add beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaves, onion, salt, sugar, pepper, paprika, and cloves. It oughta look something like this:
Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
Remove bay leaves and garlic clove, and add carrots, parsnips, and celery.
Cover and continue to simmer for another 30-40 minutes.
Make a slurry with cornstarch and about 1/4 cup water. Add to the stew and stir. Stir and cook until thickened, smooth, and bubbly.