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    Beef Stew

    Beef stew is one of my favorite dishes. Yes, it's really basic, but I find it hits the spot every time.

    This is pretty much the same beef stew recipe everyone is use to, but I just dress it up a bit. Keep in mind that this takes about three hours to cook. I'm not kidding. Don't try and make it on a week night or you'll end up eating dinner at 10 pm.

    I strongly recommend using homemade stock for this. Either chicken, beef, or vegetable stock will do.

    This will feed about three people. Or four people if one of them really doesn't like stew. Or one person on a dare. You get the idea.

    • 2 lbs beef chuck
    • 1 1/2 Tbsp peanut oil
    • 3 tsp sugar
    • 1 1/2 Tbsp flour
    • Salt & pepper
    • 2 1/4 cups stock
    • 1 large diced tomato
    • 2 cloves pressed garlic
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 tsp thyme
    • 1 medium potato, cubed
    • 1 toad (just kidding)

    • 1 medium turnip, cubed
    • 2 medium carrots, sliced
    • 1/2 onion, thick dice
    • 1 1/2 cups string beans
    • 1/2 cup peas
    • 1 tsp thyme
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp onion powder
    • 2 Tbsp red wine
    • 1 Tbsp tomato paste

    1. First, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Trim the beef of fat and cut it into 1/2-3/4 inch cubes. Try to actually make cubes. It's easier to brown that way. Find an oven proof pan (not non-stick!) or casserole with good lid to cook the whole dish in. Heat the oil in this over medium high.

    2. Once the oil is hot, start browning the beef in batches. Don't crowd the pan or the pan will cool down and the meat won't brown well. Use tongs to tun the meat so that it gets browned on all sides. Don't worry about cooking the meat. Just get it well browned. Also try not to let the pan get too hot. It's okay for the meat to stick to the bottom a bit, but don't let that or the oil burn.

    3. When all of the meat is browned lower the heat to medium and pour off all but about 1/2 tsp of the oil and put all of the meat back into the pan. Sprinkle the sugar over the meat and stir that a bit so that the sugar dissolves and everything gets coated. Add about 1/2 tsp ground pepper and salt as you like. Scrap the bottom of the pan to loosen any brown bits. Then sprinkle on the flour and stir until everything has a thick, pasty coating.

    4. Cover the pan and put the whole thing into the oven. Let it cook for about 5 minutes and then take it out, mix it up well, and then put it back in for another 5 minutes. USE AN OVEN MITT!!!! I shudder when I think about grabbing the lid off a 450 degree pan. You don't want to do this. Modern medicine will not be able to heal you. They'll just laugh. Trust me, I know.

    5. Reduce the oven to 350 degrees. Take the pan out and heat it on a medium high burner Add the stock, tomato, bay leaf, garlic, and thyme. While the liquid comes to a boil, spend some time with a wooden spoon scrapping the bottom and sides of the pan. Once it comes to a boil put the lid back on and return it to the oven. Leave it there for one hour.

    6. While you're waiting for an hour to go by, cut up the vegies. You can use whatever you want here, but I prefer the ones listed in the ingredients. I usually (okay.... always) use frozen peas which really slow down the cooking process. If you use frozen stuff, let it thaw a bit or microwave it before it gets added.

    7. After an hour, take the pan out, remove the bay leaf, and add the carrots, onion, potatoes, and turnips. Not the beans and peas yet. Save those for later. You might want to add a little more stock, but not as much as I show here. That was a little too much. Heat the pan until it starts to boil and then cover it and place it back it the oven for 50 minutes. Yes, this is taking quite awhile. I warned you.

    8. After 50 minutes, take the pan out and add the rest of the ingredients: string beans, peas, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, red wine, and tomato paste. Mix it all up, bring it to a simmer, cover the pan, and put it back in the oven for 10 minutes.

    9. And you're done! Dig in.

    Any comments? Let me know and I'll include them below.

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