I love winter, even though in the Southwest portion of the state of Washington we don't see much of the white stuff or below freezing or even freezing temps. But it still gives me the desire and satisfaction of making soups...lots of soups. Beef stew was on my mind this last week so while I was out shopping Tuesday I picked up some Stew Meat from Painted Hills Farms, which is located in Wheeler County, Oregon. I sometimes purchase their meat when I'm at our local Chuck's Produce and Street Market. It really depends on what I plan to cook and if there are any sales. Buying good meat isn't cheap. But it's so good. I love their beef sausage links and their beef bacon. Chuck's is run by Seventh Day Adventists so there are no pork products sold in the store, and they are closed on Saturdays, which sometimes makes it tricky for me to get there, however, during soccer season I am in town twice a week, so it works great, AND I love to shop locally when I can.
The stew meat I bought was well worth the price..great flavor and so tender. Nothing warms the tummy like a good stew. Unless it's good stew with warm homemade bread, which we had as well. This Easy Artisan Bread is so good and so effortless. I'd probably make it everyday, and I would have to because it doesn't last a day in my house.
On to the stew recipe.....
1-2 lbs. stew meat (you just need lots of meat right?)
3-4 carrots, peeled and thick sliced
3-4 celery stalks, thick sliced
1/2 onion cut in bite size pieces
1/2 carton of sliced mushrooms
3-4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 bag frozen peas
1/2 bag frozen corn
Thyme, Oregano, Pepper to taste
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
32 oz. beef broth
1/2 c. red wine (plus extra if needed)
2 Tbs. Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 c. flour
1. Place stew meat in bottom of crock pot. I cut the larger pieces even smaller because I wanted meat in every bite.
2. Add carrots, onion, garlic, celery and mushroom.
3. Start with 1-2 tsp. each of thyme and oregano and maybe 1/2 tsp. pepper to start...later taste again and add more if necessary. I don't use salt (people can add their own as desired).
4. Pour in broth, wine and Worcestershire sauce.
5. Place crockpot on low and cook for 7+hours or until meat is tender and veggies are cooked. When you have approximately 30 minutes left, add frozen veggies.
6. Combine flour with either broth or some milk just so it's easy to mix. Add some hot liquid from crockpot and stir back in to soup. Allow it to thicken up. Add more if you desire a thicker consistency.
I started my bread in the morning and it was finished by the time the stew was done. Perfect timing and I didn't have to do much work. There's still a little winter left, go make some stew. This would be good with some dumplings on top or some barley added in. I may try dumplings next time...I love dumplings.
With Joy UNquenchable,