Friday, April 6, 2012

Easy Budget Beef Stew

This is a recipe for your grandmother's traditional beef stew.  It's inexpensive, healthy, fills you up quick, and makes the whole family happy!  What could be better than that?  I used my grandmother's secret ingredient in this recipe which gives it a little extra depth and makes the whole stew more interesting:  Allspice.  Add some thyme, a few bay leaves and a lot of garlic and you've got yourself a stew herb blend.  I cooked mine in my favorite bean pot from the Celebrating Home collection.  You could also throw it in a dutch oven or slow cook it for 6-8 hours on low in a crock pot.  Don't make this harder than it has to be.  This dish is all about simplicity.  Enjoy.

Not much better than a big pot of homemade stew!

2lb beef stew meat or try cubing a chuck/round roast
2tbs olive or macadamia nut oil
1tbs butter
1 onion, diced
5-6 red potatoes, scrubbed and cut in quarters or cubed
2-3c baby carrots (alternatively use peeled cut carrot pieces)
8oz mushrooms, sliced (optional)
1quart gluten & msg free beef stock (try Rachael Ray brand it's delicious and inexpensive)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2tsp allspice
2tsp thyme
2 bay leaves
sea salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat your oven to 325F.  In a large skillet, heat butter and 1tbs oil over high heat.  Add onions and turn down heat to medium.  Saute until translucent and beginning to brown.  Remove to your bean pot (or dutch oven or crock pot).
2. Heat remaining oil over high heat.  Salt your beef.  Add your cubed beef in batches and brown on both sides (takes about 5-6 minutes per side).  Make sure they are a deep rich brown, this gives the whole stew extra flavor! Pour into your pot.
3. Add your potatoes, carrots and mushrooms to the pot and give it a good stir.
4. In a bowl, mix your beef stock, garlic and spices until combined.  Pour over the stew until it is almost covered (the veggies will give off more water so don't overfill it with stock).
5. Place in the center of a preheated oven for 2-3 hours or until the beef is tender and the juices have reduced a bit into a nice sauce.  If you are using a slow cooker, you may want to remove your broth when the beef is done and boil it down for a richer sauce.  Enjoy hot!

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