Monday, August 16, 2010

Mmmm Mmmm Monday: Beef Stew

With being a military family we move around ALOT. Two of my favorite things to do when we're sent to a new place is to try the local food and read books that are written either by a local author, or set in the place where I'm living. The best thing I've found when I read novels by Southern authors is that they sometimes include recipes in the back of their books. (Try books written by Dorothea Benton Frank or Mary Kay Andrews for some super yummy Southern comfort foods!). This beef stew recipe came from the back pages of The Fixer-Upper by Mary Kay Andrews...not only was it a great read, but it was a tasty recipe to boot!

Here's what you need:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
2 lbs stew meat
2-3 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 cups beef broth/beef stock
1 bay leaf
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
5 medium red potatoes, cut in eigths
1 cup chopped carrots
1 Tbsp Gravy Master (I used Kitchen Bouquet because that's all I could find at my grocery store)
2 Tbsp cooking sherry

Place flour and seasonings in a large ziploc bag; add meat and shake to coat. Heat oil in large Dutch oven; add meat and cook over medium heat until browned. Add broth and bay leaf and cover tightly. Reduce heat and simmer 1.5 hours or until meat is fork-tender. Add veggies and simmer another hour. When veggies are tender, remove both meat and veggies from the pot and whisk in Gravy Master and sherry. (If gravy needs thickening, add 2 Tbsp flour into 2 Tbsp water and whisk into gravy over medium heat.) Check seasonings and add more salt & pepper if necessary. Return meat & veggies to the gravy and heat through. Serve immediately and ENJOY!

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