Another Christmas has come and gone. The cold air of winter has settled in and nothing warms your bones better than a hearty winter stew!
There is something magnificent about the timing of God's creation and especially the rhythm of eating with the seasons. I can't seem to get my fill of root vegetables and it got me to wondering about how we just had a heavy harvest of root vegetables, the weather turns cold, the sun is scarce and how healthy those root vegetables are. They are obviously what our Creator has provided for our health through the bleak months of winter. It makes SO much sense!
Here is our way of making Beef Stew...
Using a gallon size plastic bag, dump in a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of flour depending on how many pounds of stew meat you are using. We use about two pounds or more at a time. Add a teaspoon of garlic powder and onion powder and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Shake it all together and then drop your meat into the bag and shake it up so all the meat is covered.
Pull out a nice size cast iron skillet and cover the bottom with some oil, we use coconut oil. Brown the meat in your oil while cutting up your vegetables.
In the bottom of your slow cooker, pour in a quart of canned tomatoes or 28 oz. of canned diced tomatoes, juice and all. Mash them up a bit with what ever you have to mash them with. You can also make this in a Dutch Oven.
Roughly chop up 2 medium sized onions and add to your tomatoes.
Roughly chop up 2 ribs of celery, peel and chop 4 carrots and a few smaller sweet potatoes. Our neighbors grow them so big we never use more than one in a batch of stew. You could literally feed at least three people with one sweet potato, they are so big! You can also just use regular potatoes too if you'd like, but sweet potatoes are much healthier and add a nice variation to boring old beef stew.
Sprinkle your spices over the veggies, you might have your own favorite that you like to use like we do. For stew I'll add 1/2 teaspoon of basil or more (we love basil), 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/4 teaspoon rosemary, 1 teaspoon parsley, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt. You might want more salt depending on your own taste. We try to use as little salt as possible.
As you can see, in this batch I used a few handfuls of baby carrots instead of cutting up carrots. They didn't cook as well, I should've at least cut them in half first.
Add your browned meat.
Now, don't forget about all the yummy drippings still in your skillet. I will open a quart of canned beef broth, pour a bit of beef broth in the skillet to loosen all that goodness up and pour it over the meat and vegetables. Save a 1/2 cup of beef broth and pour the rest of the quart over the meat and vegetables. Give it all a bit of a stir.
Add 2 bay leaves. Put the lid on and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
About 15 to 20 minutes before serving, whisk up 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of the beef broth that was saved. Stir it into the stew. Put the lid back on and cook until it has thickened a bit.
Don't forget to take the bay leaves out and you are ready to serve up some of the healthiest food your family could ever eat!
Beef Stew with Sweet Potatoes
1/4 - 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2-3 pounds stew meat
Place ingredients in bag and add beef. Shake till covered.
2-3 Tablespoons oil
Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat.
Lightly brown beef. Remove from skillet and set it aside.
1 quart (28 oz) diced tomatoes
Pour liquid and tomatoes in slow cooker and mash.
2 medium onions
2 ribs celery
2 to 3 sweet potatoes
Peel and roughly chop vegetables, place in slow cooker.
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. parsley
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
Sprinkle spices over vegetables
Add the beef to slow cooker.
1 quart of beef broth = 4 cups
Pour enough in skillet to loosen meat drippings and pour over meat and vegetables. Save back 1/2 cup of beef broth and pour the remaining broth over the meat and vegetables. Stir a few times.
2 bay leaves
Add bay leaves.
Put the lid on and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup of reserved broth
Whisk together and add to slow cooker. Stir in.
Cook for another 15 to 20 minutes until it thickens a bit.
Remove the bay leaves before serving.
If you'd like to make this recipe with a Dutch Oven, simply brown your meat in the Dutch Oven, add your beef broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for about an hour.
Then add your vegetables, spices and your thickener (flour and broth), stir into stew, cover and simmer for another hour or more.
** You can add additional tastes to it by adding some A-1 Steak Sauce to your stew and Worcestershire and/or Ketchup too. Sometimes I add a few drops of our Ozark recipe BBQ sauce from Silver Dollar City to make it extra specially YUMMY!