Friday, February 25, 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside. So We're Staying Warm With Stew.

There Once Was A Stew...
     There once was a stew that my family loved.  It came from humble beginnings.  I first found this little old recipe in a Better Homes and Gardens:  New Cook Book circa 1992.  It was given to us as a wedding present.  The book, not the stew.  That would be strange.   Anyways... Not being much of a cook when we were first married, I could boil water and burn a hamburger patty, I decided that I wanted to make a meal that would impress my dear husband, so I brushed the dust off of this cookbook and started to flip through it.  I knew one thing for certain, whatever I would decide to make it would have to have hearty meat and potatoes.  My search led me to this recipe, I looked it over and decided that it was not quite right, but it had promise.  I knew one other thing about my husband and his palette.  He likes his food, like he likes and spicy, Baby!  (One of my boys has just informed me that this comment is TMI, LOL!)  I made a few adjustments to the original recipe and it is now my infamous "Robin's Fingertip Stew."  I won't elaborate, but I am sure that you can figure it out.  It's a family joke.

Drum roll.........Here it is.

My Stew
2 Tbsp. flour
11/4 to 1 1/2 lbs. of beef stew meat
2 Tbsp. EVOO
1 bottle of V-8 Spicy juice cocktail
1/2 cup of chopped onion
1 can of beef broth-low sodium
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp.dried thyme 
3-4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced

*In a ziploc bag, place meat cubes and flour.  Shake to coat.
*In a large saucepan, heat up the oil and brown half the meat and then repeat with the rest of the meat.
*Add the V-8, onion, beef broth, garlic, basil, thyme, ancho chili pepper, and chipotle chili pepper. 
*Bring to a boil; reduce heat.
*Cover and simmer for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until the meat is nearly tender.

*Add potatoes, carrots and celery.
*Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the veggies are cooked.

This recipe makes roughly 8 servings.  Enough for the 5 of us, and some leftovers for some the next evening.

     *Easy to make
     *Versatile.  This recipe can be easily tweeked to your liking.  To spicy, to many veggies or not enough of either.  Feel free to make your own adjustments.
     *We all agree that this is a great, cold weather meal.  It even tastes better the next day.
     *Can be made in a crockpot.  I have the directions, so feel free to contact me if you would like more information.

     *Just can't think of any.  Oh wait, there is one.  Because it takes 2 hours to cook, it is not a last minute fix.  You have to plan ahead.

The Verdict:
     *This is and always will be a family favorite.  I hope that you enjoy this one.


Jacqueline said...

I love a good stew and yours has to be one of the best looking recipes I have seen in a long time. I may try this tomorrow before it gets too hot outside to enjoy it!

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