Beef Stew

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by: momma






I doubt that there’s any culture that doesn’t have some form of beef stew. Simmering meat, usually beef, with veggies in a rich gravy is a classic, extremely healthy comfort food. Granted, some of the nutrients are cooked out of the vegetables, but they end up in the gravy which is usually totally consumed. And although the cooking negates some of the enzymes in the same vegs, most folks in cold climates or at least during the winter, need the warmth and don’t want to eat cold, raw vegetables all the time. We NEED good, warm food, both physically and emotionally, when old man winter’s beating at our doors, right? Here in the desert southwest, when it gets down to 60º, folks think it’s COLD!! I think I’ll always be a northerner when it comes to temperatures – zero or below, now THAT’S cold!! ;-) That being said, this old classic dish has my Hungarian mom’s and gram’s signature dose of paprika…. :-) All I know is that it’s GOOD and my family and I have loved this for years!! Hope you’ll like it too!! Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 2 hours Total time: 2 hours, 15 minutes Serves: 8 Total cost: $13.68 Cost per serving: $1.71




ingredients

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serves: 8

2 T olive oil

2-3 large onions, chopped

2 lb marbled beef cut into 1” pieces– chuck, round, flank – any kind of solid beef is good in this – the stewing will tenderize it in no time at all! And these “tougher” cuts of beef are way cheaper than the more tender steaks!!

1 t salt/lb beef (This is a typical proportion, no matter what kind of meat you’re cooking, unless you’re adding other salt/salted ingredients)

1/4 t freshly ground pepper

2 T paprika (or more, to taste)

water to cover the meat

2 lb carrots, cleaned and chopped

4-5 stalks celery, chopped (optional – I sometimes like beef stew with celery, sometimes not)

4-5 lb potatoes, washed and cut into 1” pieces *

1 lb mushrooms, cleaned and sliced or quartered

1/2 c – 1 flour, depending on how much gravy you’re making

cold water to make slurry with the flour

Nutrition Facts
Beef Stew

Servings Per Recipe: 8

Amount per Serving

Calories: 418

  • Total Fat: 9.4 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 2.7 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 76 mg
  • Sodium: 523.6 mg
  • Total Carbs: 53.8 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 12.8 g
  •     Sugars: 9.1 g
  • Protein: 34.2 g
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preparation

1.  Heat a large, heavy pot/Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the oil when hot.

2.  Add the onions, cook and stir until starting to brown – remove to a bowl and leave any oil that’s left.

3.  Add the meat, stirring and browning until all the juices have been cooked off and start to brown well onto the pan. Get those juices good and brown but don’t let them burn!!

4.  Remove from heat and add the salt, pepper and paprika, stirring in well, then enough water to cover the meat with an inch to spare. Stir and remove all the browned goodies off the bottom.

5.  Cover, bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer (medium-low heat). Cook 1 hour. Add enough water to keep the level about an inch above the meat – you want enough gravy when you’re done!!

6.  Add the carrots and celery and continue simmering.

7.  When the carrots and celery are starting to soften (after about 15 minutes), add the mushrooms and cook through (5-10 minutes). Then add the reserved onions and potatoes. Continue simmering until the potatoes are just fork-tender – you don’t want them to be mush!! ;-)

8.  Make a slurry of the flour and a drizzle of cold water, stirring well with a fork or whisk to break up the lumps as you drizzle in the water. When all/most of the lumps are broken up, continue stirring and adding water until the slurry is thin.

9.  Turn up the heat to a low boil, and drizzle the slurry into the sauce while stirring well to avoid it lumping up. Add enough slurry to thicken it just a little thinner than you like your gravy – it will thicken more as it sits/cools. Turn down the heat as necessary to prevent it from splashing out at you when it boils, but continue to simmer a couple minutes more. This will assure that your gravy will taste like gravy, not flour.

10.  NOTE: If you don’t have time to cook this as written, you can certainly cook the beef, add the spices & water, and put in your crock pot along with all the veggies, except the potatoes, even the night before. Store your crockpot bowl in the fridge and let it cook on low all the next day. When you get home, turn up to high, put the spuds in, cook for another 15-30 minutes, then thicken the gravy.

11.  NOTE 2: To make this meal even cheaper, you can add LOTS more veggies. This not only saves you money, it increases the nutritional values tremendously without adding a lot to the cost, since the meat is the “spendiest” part of most dishes…. BUT the ingredients listed/shown made approximately 8 quarts of stew – that’s a LOT of food!!

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