Auntie Em's Guide to Life

A guide to all the important things in life- marriage, family, cooking, gardening, reading, travel, Christian living… And whatever else grabs my attention!

Yummy Beef Stew

beef stew

I love soups and stews! They are prime candidates for the crock pot (easy to make), doubling up and freezing or sharing with friends, and microwaving by the bowl when you are rushed for time. Last week I made one that was particularly good– Mr X commented several times, and all I can think of that I did differently than normal was the amount of herbs I used… so here goes:

Start with beef stew meat. Get the leanest you can, and chopped in the size you want. 20130305-181724.jpg

I had put it in the freezer and it wasn’t even thawed out all the way– no worries! Preheat your skillet and oil over medium-high heat, and plop the whole thing in.

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Season heavily– there’s a lot of surface area stuck together. Cover and let it cook about 5 minutes, then turn it over and cover it again. Break apart what you can, but don’t work up a sweat!

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After it cooks another 5 minutes or so, you will be able to break it apart easily. It’ll look like this.

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Keep cooking till all the pink is gone. Then I add the onions– probably 1/2 cup of a leek-like onion from my garden– and celery. I like to soften them up a bit before I add the rest.

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Carrots take longer to cook than potatoes, so I cut them fairly small and add them next. I love the color and flavor they add, so I used about 4.

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Then the potatoes– they were getting old, so I put them all in– about 10 small ones, cut into quarters.

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Next came the seasonings and liquid: A teaspoon of minced garlic (no fresh in the cabinet), a quart of chicken broth, petite diced tomatoes with their juice, and a tablespoon of dried basil and oregano (plant some– I’m using leaves I dried last summer and they are so much fresher and more flavorful (not to mention less expensive!) than what you buy.

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Hmmm. Still not enough “white” so I added a can of corn.

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I cooked it all about 15-20 more minutes and added a couple of tablespoons of fresh chopped Italian parsley (also from the garden) and served it with Granny’s cornbread. YUM!

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