September 08, 2007

Oven Beef Stew

I made beef stew last nite. Its one of my boyfriends favorite meals. I make this with more meat than it says because he likes a meaty stew. He loves this so much that when I make it he will even take it for lunch often so I make alot and freeze the rest in small containers so he can microwave it at work. I found this recipe many yrs ago when I was first married. My mom used to make stew on the stove top and I tried to use her recipe but it always scorched and burned and I didn't like it. My mom is not the greatest cook either. She has her specialties but that's about it. Now my dad cooks all the time. I don't think she misses it and dad's a really good cook. Dad even took this recipe and adapted it to the microwave for himself. I don't cook much in the microwave, I don't like it. I mostly use it to reheat. So here's the recipe and pics. I make way more than the recipe calls for so don't expect it to look like as much as mine. I used 5lbs of stew meat, and 1 1/2 times the amt. of veggies and double the spices,etc. but still only 2 cans broth, but yours will look like this in the different stages. What I love about this recipe is I can make a great dinner and not have to watch it.

1 bag (12 oz.) frozen chopped onions or 4-5 onions chopped
2lbs. stew meat, cubed ( I cut stew meat from the store into about 1/2-3/4in. cubes)
1/4 c. soy sauce
3/4 tsp. salt-1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. paprika
6tb. flour
2 cans (10 1/2oz. each) condensed beef broth (must be this not bouillon)
4 lg. potatoes , cut up
4 lg. carrots, sliced
2 celery ribs, sliced diagonally
1c. peas or 1 (8oz.) pkg. whole mushrooms (optional)

Layer onions on the bottom of a roasting pan after chopping. Top with cubed meat and sprinkle with soy sauce, salt and pepper, paprika and flour. Pour broth from both cans over all. (I found this makes alot of gravy that's not as thick as I like so I add another 2-4 tb. flour depending on how thick you like your stew. It will also thicken up more by the next day.) You dont have to stir it in. It makes the gravy as it bakes, I love it! If all the flour isnt absorbed when you take it out, then stir the rest in real good.
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Cover pot and bake in oven set at 350 degrees for 1hr. Remove to add veggies.
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Stir in cut up veggies. (I like to cut them up while the meat is cooking and put in a bowl till the hour is up. Then all I have to do is dump them in and stir.) Bake 1hr. more covered.
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Remove cover and bake 1/2 hr or longer till vegetables are tender. Its also a good time to check on gravy thickness because without the cover it will continue to thicken. If you add too much flour tho you can thin it down with some water or more broth. Its pretty forgiving. In this last half hr. you can also add the peas. If you add mushrooms, I quarter them before adding. We like everything fairly bite size.

The original recipe didn't call for peas or mushrooms but I like them and use them if I have them. I just toss the frozen peas right in so they don't over cook. I did add mushrooms this time because I had some in the house, no peas around here last nite tho.

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