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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Better than crock pot beef stew

My first attempt at beef stew, 10 years ago, was edible at best. Awful, actually.

Then I discovered the crock pot, and how easy it was to make beef stew in it. It was OK.

Tonight I made beef stew in a cast iron pot:

First of all, don't buy pre-cut stew meat. Buy a roast on sale and cut it yourself; You'll save at least $2 a pound. I prefer the meat in smaller chunks anyway.

Heat olive oil in the pot. Add the meat, black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.

After the meat is browned, add cut vegetables: Carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, onions, garlic and whatever else you have left over.*

*I used to include celery in beef stew but more recently I like it better without.

Cover the pot and cook at reduced heat until the vegetables are soft. Add peas.

While that's cooking, make your sauce. Melt 2 tbsp butter, whisk in 2 tbsp flour, then add 1 cup beef broth, 1 cup milk. Whisk all together. Add "better than bouillon" beef base. Pour the sauce in.

Add kitchen bouquet. This will make it appear darker; Don't be alarmed-- it's not overcooked.

Add seasoned salt. Serve over rice.

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