Monday, August 22, 2011

Beef Stew

When I think of back to school and all of the running around, late nights, car pooling and daily errands, it makes me overwhelmed on some days to also think about making a meal with lots of steps, instructions and prep work.

Sometimes I need an easy meal.  A meal that taste good.  I also love to have left overs.  This stew recipe is perfect for all of those desires. 

The thing I like about making a stew, are that the combinations are endless.  For us, it is based on what we have in the fridge.  What meat I have thawed for the day.  I have called this beef stew, but you could easily change out the beef for chicken or pork.  In fact, you could add no meat or beef broth and use vegetable broth and still have a yummy meal.

Fall is one of my favorite holidays.  I love the leaves and their changing colors, the cooler weather and the holidays (Halloween and Thanksgiving..YES, I am a kid at heart).  Although, we eat soup all year long, we don't really eat this type of stew until the weather starts changing.  This happened this week.  I was told that the east coast is pretty "by the calendar" with their season's.  I was impressed when spring hit with rain and warmer weather in March and here we are with September a week away and the change is in the air again.  I welcome Fall/Autumn with open arms and a big hug.  LOVE IT!

Beef Stew

1 package of stew meat (about a pound to a pound in half works well).
3 T. flour (Gluten Free-use brown rice flour)
2 T. oil (for browning the meat)
1 whole onion, diced or sliced
3 stalks of celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 potatoes, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup of fresh herbs ( I used Thyme, Basil and's in my garden)
1/2 bottle of beer (optional)  I would choose a strong flavor, it adds a wonderful undertone to the stew.
5 cups of beef broth
1 tsp. of salt
pepper to taste

* NOTE:  To make this Gluten Free, you must use Gluten Free Beer or omit this step.

1.  In a large bowl add flour and meat.  Toss until well coated.  Heat oil in a large skillet and add floured meat.  Brown each side.

2.  Prepare vegetables.

3.  Plug your crock pot in and add all of the ingredients: meat, veggies, beer, broth, herbs and spices.  

4.  You can cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8-10 hours.  

5.  Before you serve the stew, check the flavor and adjust the salt and pepper.

You can used dried herbs too.  We just love fresh and this is what I have on hand.
This gives you an idea of what the stew will look like right before it starts to cook.

Written by Sherron Watson

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