Not Your Mama’s Beef Stew

This basic beef stew incorporates some of the traditional herbs and spices that were used for beef cookery by earlier generations that aren’t used as often today. So this may not be like your mama’s recipe, but maybe your grandmother’s

Ingredients:

4 to 5 lb. Beef Chuck Roast, cubed

4 cloves minced garlic

1 c. sliced carrots

2 c. sliced celery

2 c. medium dice onions

Salt & Pepper to taste

1/2 tsp. marjoram

1/2 tsp. basil

1 T parsley

1/2 tsp. allspice

1/2 tsp. celery seed

1/2 tsp. dried, ground ginger

1/2 tsp. oregano

1/2 tsp. rosemary

1/4 tsp. tarragon

1/4 tsp. thyme

1/2 tsp. lemon zest, finely grated

1/4 tsp. coriander

12 oz. tomato paste

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil

2 cups peeled, large dice potatoes

2 cups fresh corn off the cob (frozen or canned can be used, but they must be added at the end)

3 T flour

1 cup red wine (optional ~ water or beef stock can be substituted)

12 cups water

1 cup frozen peas

Method:

Heat olive oil in large stock pot. Add garlic and saute quickly to avoid browning. Add onions. Sweat onions until translucent. Add beef cubes and brown, stirring constantly. Sprinkle flour over beef and vegetables and cook for one minute, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Spoon tomato paste into the pot and continue cooking while stirring for a minute or so reducing heat if necessary. Deglaze the pan with wine, water, or beef stock and add the 12 cups of water, stirring carefully while scraping the bottom of the pan to get up all of the flavorful cooked bits.

Add celery, carrots, herbs and spices, potatoes, and corn if using fresh. Season with salt and pepper at the beginning middle and end of the cooking time to control the amount. Bring just to a low simmer, cover and let cook for 4 to 6 hours, stirring occasionally. Make sure the temperature stays just below or at a low simmer or the potatoes could dissolve. Adding the potatoes an hour or two before the stew is done will help avoid this problem, but the potatoes will not have as much flavor. Add peas or frozen or canned corn at the end of the cooking time.

Note: This stew is much better the second day. If you decide to make it a day ahead of serving time, pour the finished stew into shallow pans to cool, preferably in an ice water bath, to prevent microbial growth before storing in covered containers. Reheat thoroughly the following day before serving.

And if you must…sigh…I suppose you could just dump all of this, omitting the flour,┬áinto the slow cooker before leaving in the morning to wherever it is that you go during the day, but the end result will be very different.

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