Sunday, October 4, 2009

Beef Stew

This is my mom's recipe and I love it. It doesn't have the "canned beef stew" flavor. It is hearty and comforting on a cold day. Serve with some warm rolls and call it dinner!

1 1/2 to 2 pounds of beef, cut into bite size chunks
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (about 30 oz)
6 large carrots, peeled and sliced into chunks
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
8 cups of chicken broth
3 Tablespoons oil

After cutting your meat into chunks, place in a bag with flour, salt and pepper. Shake well to coat the meat. In a large pot heat the oil and then pour your meat mixture into the hot oil. Brown the meat on all sides then add the chicken broth. Bring stew to a boil, add the potatoes and carrots and then cover and turn down to a simmer. Simmer for 4 to 5 hours on the stove, stirring occasionally to make sure the broth doesn't burn on the bottom. If your stew begins to boil rapidly, turn down the heat; you want a very warm simmer with only a bubble here and there. If you want a thicker broth, right before you serve the stew put a 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of flour in a large bowl. Add chicken broth in the amount of flour you have to your flour. Stir until smooth. A tablespoon at a time add hot liquid from your stew to the flour mixture until you have doubled the amount of liquid in your flour mixture. Slowly pour the flour mixture into your stew. Doing it this way should eliminate any lumps in your stew. Cook at a boil for 1 minute. If stew still isn't thick enough, repeat the process.

*Make sure you never boil your stew while it is supposed to be simmering, it will turn your potatoes to mush. If you keep it at a simmer they will turn soft but remain firm.
*I recommend using chicken broth and not beef broth. Chicken broth is what keeps it from getting the canned stew flavor.
*This makes enough to feed my family of 6 for two nights. If you have a smaller family or don't want leftovers then half all of the ingredients.
*This recipe really needs to simmer for at least 4 to 5 hours otherwise your meat will be tough. If you do simmer it long enough, you will have very tender beef that just melts in your mouth.

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