Thursdays are for cooking….

| February 28, 2019

Baby red potatoes

Betty Crocker’s Classic Beef Stew from 1970


1 tablespoon vegetable oil or shortening

1 lb boneless beef chuck, tip or round roast, cut into 1-inch cubes

3 cups water

1/2  teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces (use frozen sliced carrots to save time)

1 large unpeeled potato, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (baby reds are good, too)

1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces (this can be left out, if you don’t like cooked peppers – add more celery, instead)

1 medium stalk celery, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 small onion, chopped (1/4 cup)

1 teaspoon salt

1 dried bay leaf

1/2 cup cold water

2 tablespoons Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour

How to fix this dish:

  • 1 – In 12-inch skillet or 4-quart Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat 1 to 2 minutes. Add beef; cook about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown on all sides. (I’d use the Dutch oven, not the skillet. If you go the slow cooker route, brown the meat in the skillet first.)
  • 2 – Add water, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cover; simmer 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes or until beef is almost tender.
  • 3 – Stir in remaining ingredients except cold water and flour. Cover; cook about 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaf.
  • 4 – In tightly covered jar or container, shake cold water and flour; gradually stir into beef mixture. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute until thickened.

You can add a cup of red wine to this, as well. And beef broth instead of just water adds flavor to it, too.

If you want the slow cooker version of this, the cooking time is 9 to 10 hours on LOW.

Chuck, tip, or round beef roast are all good choices for a long simmer. The ratio of marbled fat and collagen in the meat keep it moist and tender during a long braise.

A classic flour and water slurry is a good way to thicken a stew. Be sure to bring the stew to a rolling boil and cook for about 1 minute, or just until thickened. If you cook it too long the flour will break down and the thickening will be lost.

Infuse some herbal or citrus notes to the dark richness of the stew by adding a generous handful of chopped fresh parsley or oregano or sprinkling on some grated lemon or orange zest just before serving. Mrs. Dash Lemon/Pepper seasoning is also a good choice.

To save time, use a 1-pound bag of frozen mixed vegetables plus frozen diced potatoes, instead of the carrots, potato, bell pepper, celery and onion. There’s no need to thaw the vegetables; just stir them into the beef mixture in step 4.



Category: Economy

Comments (8)

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  1. 5th/77th FA says:

    Crockett pot perculating lowly takes a lot of the work and monitoring out of the occasion, but I seem to get a much better flavor from the cast iron dutch oven method.

    Don’t forget some fresh,hot, buttermilk cat headed biscuits or a stick loaf of crunchy Frenchy buttered bread for pot lickers purposes.

    num num gooood! Thanks Ex-PH2!

  2. AnotherPat says:

    Beef Stew…another Comfort food…😊

    Thank you, Ex-PH2 for sharing your recipe. Do you have one for Buttermilk Cathead biscuits? (hat tip to 5th/77th FA)..

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      No, that’s 5th/77th’s venue! And I’d bet his version is AWESOME!!!

      • 5th/77th FA says:

        Do appreciate those votes of confidence/competence Ladies. I don’t do half bad in the cat head department. I had to scratch my watch and wind my butt to think about a recipe tho. I learned how to make cats heads by some of this and a little more of that. Mama could do them with one arm tied and blindfolded. She kept a big tupperware mixing bowl with sifted flour in it all the time and could whip up a batch in about 35 minutes start to buttering.

        For 12 -14 basic mix 2 cups of WHITE LILY SELF RISING, sifted well, 1/4 – 1/2 cup Crisco, and one cup buttermilk. If you don’t have WHITE LILY locally, call Amazon. Make sure oven is pre-heated to at least 475-500, yes that hot. Oven needs to be hot, ingredients need to be cold. Time is of the essence during the mixing up. Cut the mixtures in together and either fold over by hand or roll out on a flour dusted wax/parchment paper to about 1/2 inch thick. Usually about 4 fold and rolls. Pinch off and roll to about 2 & 1/2 -3 inch diameter or cut with a biscuit cutter. Don’t twist the cutter. And be gentle with the dough as you mixing it. For some reason over mixing or being rough with the dough makes ’em get dry. She’d fuss if I was too rough or overmixed ’em. She used to sing a little soft song over the dough, don’t laugh, it worked. Always mixed by hand too, never with a spoon. Kept a dusting of flour on her hands while she mixed. And she pinched ’em off, didn’t use a cutter unless she was making a coupla dozen. Put ’em in a pan, sides touching, 15 min or so and butter them kitty kats up soon as they come out.

        Just to keep myself honest on the quantities I jumped into Google Fo. Closests printed recipes to hers was and another using cutters and rolling pins was Good luck, I ruint many a pan before I could be fairly consistent.

        No matter how mine come out, they still ain’t as good as hers, never will be. Thirty eight years and it’s still sometimes feels as if it were yesterday.

        • OWB says:

          Yep, you got the secret there.

          Not a cook here, but got so hungry for biscuits that I tried to make them one day. How hard could it be, after all, right? Lots of folks who don’t seem particularly bright seem to make great biscuits, and I am at least not too bright.

          It was a valiant effort, but hockey pucks just aren’t all that appealing no matter how much apple butter you put on them.

          Some years later somebody shared the secret about not overmixing them, in fact to barely mix them at all. Turn them out for kneading well before they look anything like biscuit dough and they always become good biscuits.

          Still not a cook, but I can make biscuits! And gravy. Weird stuff. And somehow, nobody seems to mind that that is about all I can make. Oh – and pickled watermelon rind.

          • Ex-PH2 says:

            Pickled watermelon rind?????

            Okay, that’s it!!! Next week, OWB will provide us with that delicacy and I will provide my mother’s aristocrat pickles recipe, if I can find it. Paper-thin slices of baby cucumbers, just this side of sweet – NOT cloying sweet.

  3. Roh-Dog says:

    Dinty is a lot easier and after 2 shots of Old No. 7 with some beers it don’t taste no different.
    (Saves the recipe)