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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Beef Stew

Fall is here!!!  My favorite time of year, well, it's mostly wishful thinking.  Florida's fall is 5 cooler days with a breeze and then it's hot again until January.  Nonetheless, the fall cooking comes out! 

I've made beef stew before and will probably make it different every time, but this is the way it went this time:

2 lbs of stew meat
3 lbs of yellow potatoes (the smaller ones, leave whole, scrub skins)
4 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1 in pieces
1 mack daddy sweet potato, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 onion, quartered
3/4 cup of red wine (I used cabernet sauvignon)
1-2 TBS tomato paste
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 carton of reduced sodium beef stock
2 cups of water
cupish of flour
olive oil
3 springs of thyme
1 TBS garlic powder
1/2 TBS smoky paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp celery seed
1 Bay leaf
salt and pepper
1 TBS chopped fresh parsley

Heat a dutch oven to med high heat.  Salt and pepper the beef and dredge in flour, shake off excess.

Add olive oil and heat until it just barely smokes, add the beef in batches, don't over crowd.  Don't over brown either!  Set meat aside (add more oil if needed) 

Add onion and brown just a tad, don't over do it!  (I leave the onions as big as I can. I love the flavor, but hate biting into an onion.  Yuck!)

Deglaze pan with red wine, stirring to get the brown bits off the bottom.  Add Worcestershire sauce, I may have done more like 2 TBS, but whatever tickles your fancy.  I love Worcestershire!!  Keep stirring and add tomato paste.  Stir until reduced and starts to bubble a bit.

Add beef stock and water.  Add veggies and remaining spices.  Turn to low and cook 1.5-2 hours. 

Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaf.  Service with rice and cornbread! 

If it needs a little thickening add a corn starch slurry....I know, stone me. 

****My husband bought me a dutch oven for Christmas last year and I love that thing!  I don't know how I've lived this much with out it.  Someone put it in the dishwasher, by mistake, and when I found it I very loudly GASPED and my hubs ran into the kitchen asking what was wrong.  Then, swore 6 ways to Sunday that he didn't put it in there.  Obviously, I didn't think he knew we had a dishwasher, much less put something in there! If you don't have a Dutch oven, go get one.  Right now.  I'll wait. 

Happy Sunday!

I forgot to take a picture all pretty on a dinner plate, so this is the packed for lunch version.

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