Monday, November 5, 2012

No-Fuss Beef Stew

This is the easiest Beef Stew I’ve ever made - and I’ve been making stew for nearly 50 years. When I decided to serve stew for the Fabulous Femmes Film Fest (see my Nov. 4, 2012 blog), I reached for this recipe, first! Why is it so easy to make? You don’t have to brown the meat. 

No-Fuss Beef Stew: 

2 lb. (about 1 kg) stewing beef, in unbrowned chunks (see Note)
Two 14-oz. (398 mL) cans diced tomatoes and juice
3 large russet potatoes, in chunks
1 large onion, cut into eighths
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-in. chunks
3 stalks celery, cut into 1-in. chunks
Salt, pepper, and garlic powder, to taste
¼ c. quick-cooking tapioca
2-to-3 tbsp. cornstarch, if required
1-to-2 tbsp. commercial gravy browner
Handful of frozen peas

Preheat oven to 300 deg. F. In a large, ungreased casserole, combine all ingredients except cornstarch, peas, and gravy browner. Stir from bottom to top, distributing tapioca evenly. Bake, covered, 3 hr., stirring occasionally. 

About 30 min. before stew is done, if stew broth is not thick enough for your liking, drain off some of the liquid and cool slightly before stirring cornstarch into drained liquid. Mix well before returning to stew through small strainer, to ensure cornstarch mixture has no small lumps. Stir in gravy browner. Add frozen peas, stirring just until heated through, serving at once. Yields 8-to-10 servings.

Note: Don’t cut beef chunks too small, lest they disintegrate in cooking. 

Tomorrow: The Creamy Chicken Stew I also made for the FFFF.

Weigh the meat to determine exactly what you need.

Stir from top to bottom, bottom to top, distributing tapioca.

Bake 3 hr., covered, at 300 deg. F.

No-Fuss Beef Stew is even better the next day:
Ron and I noshed on the FFFF's leftovers!

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