First recipe post. Yayzers.
Serious Beef Stew
A big, honking Dutch oven. Yes, a Dutch oven! Alternatively you may use a crock pot but the meat won't brown as nicely.
2 lbs. stew meat
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. baby or baby-cut carrots (unless you insist on cutting your own)
1 lb cut celery
six to eight medium potatoes or 2 lbs of baby red potatoes
onion to taste
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. rosemary, crushed or whole leaf
1/4 tsp. oregano leaves
1/2 tsp. parsley flakes or cilantro leaves, not both.
1/4 tsp. or 1 clove garlic, crushed
2 packages of Pioneer (R) Brown Gravy mix
1 cup of cold water
Put Dutch oven on stovetop. Add extra-virgin olive oil. Heat until oil just begins to smoke. Dump in all the meat. Brown all the meat chunks lightly. The more you brown the meat, the darker the broth will get. When the meat is brown enough for you, cover the meat with water.
It's ok to fill the Dutch oven almost to the top. Set the burner to warm or the smallest gas flame your burner will give you. The broth will not boil over. You do not want your stew meat to boil dry. It will burn quickly if it does.
Add in the black pepper, rosemary, oregano, parsley and garlic. Stir well with a stiff plastic spatula, scraping the bottom of the pot. Occasionally stir and make sure to scrape the bottom each time.
Let cook overnight. The meat will be melt-in-your-mouth tender in the morning.
In the morning, add in the celery and carrots. Hold off on the potatoes until one hour before dinnertime.
Right before adding the potatoes, mix the graviy mix, both packets together, in 1 cup of cold water. Make sure there is enough broth to cover the stew but leave a little room for the gravy mix. Beat the gravy mix with a whisk until the mixture is totally lump-free. Pour the mixture into the stew broth and stir in thoroughly. Add the potatoes. Cover and let simmer for one hour.
Serve with cornbread, biscuits or brown and serve rolls. We call them burn and turn rolls at our house. :) Enjoy your savory stew creation! This stuff keeps for at least a week in the fridge and can be frozen in batches to reheat later.