Every once in a while I get the urge to make beef stew. This is good. One session of beef stew avoids the need for cooking for several days. The thing is I’ve never quite figured out how to make a small amount of beef stew. If you follow the recipe you will see why.
Note: Amounts are variable – it doesn’t matter a great deal.
Ingredients1/2 – 1 lb beef stew meat
3-5 medium to good size potatoes
2-4 green peppers (red, orange, and yellow ok)
1-2 good size Spanish onions
1 package baby carrots
2 boxes Shitake mushrooms
1 medium red cabbage (optional)
1/2 bottle red wine (optional)
4 stalks celery (optional but don’t over do it)
1 tblsp Lowry’s seasoning salt
1 tsp Basil
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Thyme
1 tsp Rosemary
1 tsp Dill Weed
1/2 stick butter
1-2 cans beef broth (optional)
1-2 cans chicken broth (optional)
1 Large pot 1 sauce pan 1 frying pan
Peel potatoes and cut into small pieces. Fill sauce pan half full of water, dump in potatoes, bring to boil at high heat. Salt liquid lightly. Cut back heat to just boiling and cook potatoes until soft. Optional: add 1/2 stick of butter to boiling water.
Chop veggies into small pieces. You can use Oyster mushrooms in addition to Shitake mushrooms. If you want to use button mushrooms get fresh ones. Canned ones will do but fresh is better.
If the stew beef comes in large pieces cut it into smaller pieces. Brown the beef pieces in the frying pan.
Put canned broth and wine in the large pot. [These aren’t essential but they add.] Fill large pot to about half full with water. Add veggies. Add beef. Pour potatoes with water into the pot. Add spices. [Note: do not measure – just do add what looks like a reasonable amount.]
Bring the whole mess to a boil on high heat and then cut back heat to the point where it just barely boils. Cover pot and cook for at least an hour. It’s going to be thin and watery at first until the veggies start dissolving into the stew. (Potatoes are important – they give the stew body and thickening.) If it tastes too thin add more spices.
It will be ready for consumption when (a) the beef is thoroughly cooked and crumbly, (b) the liquid has gotten gray and filled with particle [red if you add red cabbage], and (c) the house is filled with a delightful aroma.
Consume stew as wanted. Keep on a low simmer for several hours. It will get thicker and yummier. Next day bring to a boil and then simmer some more. Have more stew. Add more stuff if desired. The trick is to keep boiling it down and adding more water every so often. When you get down to the last couple of inches remove from pot and save as a starter for the next batch of stew. Alternatively, finish off in a small pan.
Note: Cabbage and celery have very strong flavors. Don’t overdo them. Potatoes, onions, and peppers are essential. Other veggies are optional. Regular carrots will do but chop them up. Baby carrots are better.
Note: Canned broth (or your own stock broth if you have it) is optional. Likewise red wine is optional. Red wine is good. Finish the other half bottle with the first bowls of stew.
This page was last updated November 1, 1997.