Monday, September 15, 2008

Lyd Stew's Hearty Beef Stew

In the mood for a "comforting" hearty bowl of stew? This is my favorite on a cold day. I love to make a big batch and share it, because it is always best fresh and warm! I put down exact amounts, but it is a very forgiving combo- you can add more or use less and it will always turn out as a "comfort" stew. :)

Lyd "Stew's" Hearty Beef Stew

2 pounds stew beef
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 cups water (might need more or less, depending on how many vegetables you put in)
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
1 or 2 bay leaves
1 medium onion, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Dash ground allspice or ground cloves (The secret weapon!)
3 large carrots, sliced
3 ribs celery, chopped
4-5 potatoes, chopped
1-2 cups of sliced cabbage (green or red)
2 cups chopped broccoli
2 cups chopped cauliflower
4 tablespoons cornstarch (More or less, just to thicken)

*In a big pot, Brown meat in hot oil. Add water, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaves, onion, salt, sugar, pepper, paprika, and allspice. Cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours. Remove bay leaves if you used whole leaves. Add carrots and celery and other vegetables. Cover and cook 30 to 40 minutes longer. To thicken gravy, remove 2 cups hot liquid. Using a separate bowl, combine 1/4 cup water and cornstarch until smooth. Mix with a little hot liquid and return mixture to pot. Stir and cook until bubbly.

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