Summer IS almost gone, isn’t it? Gosh, time has gone by sooo fast… It was cool enough for a beef stew yesterday and I even put on some socks later in the evening because it was getting too cold for my toes….errr, I mean my taste. Yes, I do believe autumn is not so far away.
A stew always reminds me of that romantically funny O.Henry short story, The Third Ingredient. That story made such an impression on my young mind that I just cannot start a stew and not think of that author. Here’s a link to the story, please read it and you’ll understand why I have a romanticized view of stew.
This particular recipe is based on my mom’s own recipe that she taught us all. I made a few changes to go with my taste and will make note of it in the recipe so you can decide which you prefer.
1 lb. lean beef brisket or similar cut, cut in 1.5-in. squares (mom used short ribs with all the fat)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 c. all purpose flour
1 tbsp. olive oil (mom used all butter)
2 tbsps. butter or Olivio margarine
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 small onion, peeled and diced
1 c. water
2 tbsps. tomato paste
2 tbsps. Worcestershire sauce (mom used soy sauce)
1 large russet potato, cut in 2-in. chunks
1 sweet bell pepper, diced
1/2 c. frozen peas
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of thyme (mom omitted)
Wipe your beef brisket with a paper towel before cutting. In a bowl, mix the salt, pepper and flour. Dredge the beef in this mixture.
In a stew pot over medium high heat, add the olive oil and margarine and heat to bubbly. Add the beef, shaking off the excess flour before putting them in. Cook on all sides to get a good browning.
Put in the celery, carrots and onion into the same bowl and shake so the excess flour covers the vegetables. Put this all into the stew pot when the meat browns. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes. Season as you go.
Now add the water, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and the thyme. Bring to a boil and simmer until meat is tender about 30 minutes.
Add the potatoes and cook till tender, about 20 minutes. Add the bell peppers and peas and cook until the peppers are crisp-tender. Adjust seasonings and serve hot.