Beef stew is a staple recipe of almost any household. It just takes some beef, vegetables, water or broth to put one together. All you need are the ingredients and a little bit of time to make a stew that tastes great and nourishes the body. The best thing is that you have the whole dinner in one pot. The only thing you need is some bread, or if you make dumplings to go with your beef stew recipe you do not even need that.
Once man learned how to make fire he quickly learned how to cook. Stew was a great meal even back in Biblical time when a bowl of it was traded for a dowry in the book of Genesis. Lamb and fish were the ingredients used by Romans to make stew. The first recipe to every be recorded was during the fourteenth century. Stews are all different depending on the area and what is grown in the region.
A bowl of stew with a crusty piece of bread is great in areas where the weather gets cold. A cheap cut of meat can be used because the long boiling and simmering of the stew will tenderize it. Stew is also used to extend the meat that you have. You can fill the pot with cheaper and more abundant vegetables with just a little bit of meat and it will satisfy the body and soul.
Stew us a peasant food because the ingredients do not cost a great deal. There are however, more expensive stews on some menus in expensive restaurants. Boeuf Bourguingnonne is found in French Restaurants and Beef Burgundy is a gourmet type of stew. Sirloin or eye of round can be used but if you do not have the money a top or bottom round will do just a swell. The beef is chopped into cubes or strips then browned. Liquid is put in the pot and it simmers for about one to two hours. Stew is thickened so that it makes a gravy while soup is not and stays more liquid.
Cut 2 or 3 pounds of some cut of beef and set it aside. Take a Dutch Oven and put a little oil in the bottom. Crush 2 cloves of garlic and saute them in the oil. Next peel and chop 2 to 3 onions and put them in the pot to saute. Put the beef in the pot and make sure each piece is browned on every side. Once this is done take the beef out with a slotted spoon and put it aside. To the pot add 4 cups beef broth and bring the pot to a boil. Chop 1 cup peeled carrots and three fourths cup of celery. Dump both into the pot along with a bay leaf.
Once the stew starts to boil again turn down the heat so it simmers. Put a lid on it and let it go for 20 minutes. While it is boiling take 4 potatoes and peel them then cut them into bite size chunks. Once the 20 minutes is up add them to the stew with one half teaspoon of dried rosemary and one half teaspoon of dried thyme.
Simmer the stew in the pot for 30 minutes and peek every once in awhile to add more water if it looks like it is evaporating too much. Add salt and pepper after tasting in the last 10 minutes of cooking. To thicken the stew combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch with water to make a consistency that is thick. Stir this into the stew and stir for around 5 minutes. The stew will begin to get thick and glossy. If it is not thick enough make a little more of the cornstarch mixture and heat for another 5 minutes. Serve your stew with bread to make a great one pot stew.
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