Baby It’s Cold Outside!

Ugh, so the weather has been soooo coooold here in Chicago recently.  We took a huge plunge from Fall to Winter in a couple of days and we aren’t looking back!  Cubs are gone, the big coats are out, and Wrigleyville is empty…guys, Winter is here.

Nothing goes better with a cold Winter than hot soup…specifically, beef stew.  I love beef stew so much..it reminds me of cold nights by the fireplace in Oklahoma City with my family.  Nothing says home like stew.

This recipe is very easy and makes a lot of food!  You and your family will get to enjoy the taste of home for several days.

In case you don’t eat meat, I have included some alternatives if you want to do a vegetarian/vegan version.  This recipe would be just as delicious without the beef…just to be sure add more vegetables so the stew stays nice and hearty!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Produce

  • carrots, sliced – 6
  • celery, sliced – 6
  • onions, sliced – 2
  • potatoes, diced – 3 pounds
  • garlic, minced – 2 cloves

Note:  If doing vegetarian, be sure to pick up some additional vegetables!  16 ounces of whole mushrooms or 3-4 turnips!  This will help to make the stew nice and hearty.

Herbs/spiced

  • allspice – sprinkle
  • bay leaves – 4
  • paprika – 1 tsp
  • pepper – 1 tsp
  • salt – 2 tsp

Pantry Items

  • beef stock (or veggie if vegetarian) – 4 cups
  • Worcestershire – 2 tbsp
  • sugar – 2 tsp
  • cornstarch – 4 tbsp
  • vegetable or olive oil – 4 tbsp

Misc

  • water – 2 1/2 cups

Meat (optional)

  • beef stew meat – 4 pounds

Heat the oil in a large dutch oven.

Add the stew meat.

photo 1

Brown all sides, about 5 minutes.

photo 2

Add the sliced onion.

photo 11

Add all the herbs/spices, Worcestshire sauce, garlic, beef stock and 2 cups of water.

photo 21

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cover for 1 hour.

Add the carrots, celery and potato to the stew.  Bring to a boil once again, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 40 minutes.

Remove from heat when vegetables are tender.

To thicken the stew up, mix the cornstarch and 1/2 cup of water together in a small bowl.  Add this mixture (called a slurry) to the hot stew and stir.  Heat a few minutes until the sauce starts to thicken!

Enjoy!

photo 51

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