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Here is a recipe that is perfect for the long winter days – I would definitely consider it a comfort food. I first posted it here almost 2 years ago and many readers sent me great comments. Most agree with me, that it is a stew just like grandma used to make. I updated the copy and hope you will continue enjoying it and may others!
I have done something a little different this time. I started making homemade beef stew yesterday and as I was cutting, chopping and mixing, I took pictures. I have to admit – most of my cooking and baking is now done without opening my recipe book – and some recipes are not even there. That is how my grandma taught me, that is how my mom cooked – and that is how I ended up doing it – so the legacy continues.
Hope you enjoy this step-by-step guide to Great Homemade Beef Stew!
I had a piece of rump roast – about 1-1/2 lbs. of it. You can see that it is nicely marbled (that’s the little white lines that go through the meat) and also has a bit of fat on the bottom. That is no problem – its actually good to leave a little fat in for the flavour.
Next step: Cup up about 4 slices of bacon and chop one large onion. In a large pot, melt a tablespoon of butter and fry the bacon and onions in it.
Cut all the roast meat into about 1-inch chunks, add to bacon and onion mixture, add salt, pepper, garlic (I used 2 cloves, mashed), paprika (about a teaspoon) and Italian seasoning mix (about 1 teaspoon) and brown the meat in it. When that is done, add enough beef broth to cover the meat, turn the heat to simmer and leave simmering for about 1 – 1-1/2 hours.
Get your vegetables ready. Today, I used carrots, mushrooms, celery and potatoes only. In the past, I have added tomatoes, beans, green peas – pretty much whatever vegetables you or your family likes can go in.
Chop your vegetables into small pieces – how small depends on how you like them, remembering that the larger the pieces are, the longer they will need to cook. Leave them in a bowl, covered, until your meat is tender enough to add them.
Add your vegetables to the cooked meat, mix and again add beef broth to cover the mixture. The amount of beef broth you add will depend on how much gravy you want to have – but you can always add more later!
After simmering the mixture of meat and vegetables for about 1/2 hr to 45 minutes (check your vegetables – if carrots and potatoes are tender, its good to get finished.
By finishing it, I mean thickening the gravy. Little note first – if you are planning to freeze some of this stew, remove the amount you want to freeze first and don’t thicken that. It is better to do it when you defrost it – then you have a meal ready in minutes!
Here is how I thicken the gravy:
Take about 3/4 cups of water, mix into it about 1/2 cup of flour and make a nice smooth paste. Bring stew mixture to boil, slowly add the paste while stirring continuously and add just enough to get the thickness and consistency you want.
As a last step, taste your creation and add any spices you think could be missing – like more salt or pepper.
And ENJOY! I am sure your family will!
Your comments, suggestion, experiences and pictures are most welcomed and appreciated!