A Winter Like This Calls For Hearty Beef Stew - West Virginia Daily News
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A Winter Like This Calls For Hearty Beef Stew

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Hey there! Glad you came back this week to see what I have in store for you. Believe me, you won’t regret it. This week I am going to bring you a classic recipe that is sure to warm your bones and fill your belly, and here lately we could really use that with all the cold weather and snow. This week I bring you — beef stew!

Many people may think how hard can it be to make beef stew — you just throw some meat and veggies in a pot with beef broth and it’s done.

Not so! I actually did a little research of various beef stew recipes before I found one that resembled what I wanted, then of course I made it my own. Most importantly what I found were two things — stew meat is not acceptable for beef stew and making beef stew is a labor of love that I would gladly do over and over again. This beef stew was such a hit that dinnertime was quiet with the exception of the occasional comment, “this is just so good.”

So, let’s get to it! Please keep in mind this is not something you can just throw together so when you are ready to make this, set aside a little time to enjoy it and have fun.

Here is what you will need:

• A small to medium chuck roast
• A bag of carrots
• 6-8 stalks of celery
• 1 large onion
• 6-8 small to medium potatoes
• 1 small container of sliced mushrooms
• 1 small bag of frozen peas
• 4 –6 cups beef broth
• 1 ½ cups of flour
• Salt and pepper
• Garlic powder
• Vegetable oil

First, you have to get chopping! Chop the onion, carrots, celery, peel and cube the potatoes and set aside. Now it’s time to cut up the roast. I sliced the roast into one inch to 1 ¼ inch slices and then cut each slice in half and cubed the slices.

In a large bowl combine the flour, a little salt and pepper and a healthy sprinkle of garlic powder. Next place a large pot on the stove — I used a dutch oven — and put in about ¼ cup of vegetable oil. Toss the roast cubes in the flour mixture making sure all sides are coated. You will need to fry the beef in batches because if you tried putting it all in at once it would turn into a gummy mess. To be sure the oil is ready you can take a wooden spoon and press it on the bottom of the pot, and if you see little bubbles then it’s ready.

Put the beef in and sear on each of the larger sides – this process is time-consuming but you will thank me at the end.

It took me about four batches to cook all the beef and just a heads up, there will be some browned flour that gathers at the bottom of the pan. While the beef is cooking, you can put your frozen peas on the microwave to cook – I used steam in the bag peas to make life easier. If you smell the flour in the pot start to burn turn your heat down because you won’t be draining that out. When you remove each batch from the pot, place it on a plate with paper towels to pull away any excess oil.

Once all the beef has been fried and set aside, you want to add the chopped veggies and sliced mushrooms and toss them in what is left of the oil and the flour in the bottom of the pot. Now add the fried beef cubes back to the pot and toss with the vegetables. The temperature of the pot should have stayed the same so everything should sound like it’s simmering in all the oil and flour and beef bits.

Add the beef broth until it comes to the top of the veggie and beef mixture and top with the peas. Mix well, reduce the heat to low and cover. Let the stew simmer for about an hour and a half.

I served this thick, creamy and chunky stew with garlic butter toasted asiago cheese bread to dunk in the stew. So how can you make this your own? Add rosemary or thyme, swap out parsnips for the carrots, or omit the potatoes and serve over mashed potatoes.

The last week or two has been cold and snowy here in the Greenbrier Valley and this beef stew is sure to warm you up and fill you up. I hope you enjoy and as always I am sending love from my kitchen to yours!

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