October 31, 2008

Mom's Beef Stew

This is what it says on my recipe card - or rather, my torn, stained and waterlogged scrap of paper I use as a recipe card. Whenever I want to make something from my childhood, I call my mom and scribble it down on whatever paper happens to be close by.

This beef stew is perfect for cold dark autumn and winter nights. It's hearty, simple and oh-so-good. It's also really easy to make because it's only about 7 ingredients and you just throw them all into one big pot. You can also adjust anything you want, based on what you like in a stew. Don't like carrots? No problem! Want mushrooms or tomatoes? Throw 'em in! However, it does take 2.5 hours in the oven, so plan for it. I'm sure this can be done in the crockpot, but I don't know what the timing would be (4 hours on low? 6 hours on high? Any suggestions?)

Serve with some crusty bread and a salad and you're set!

1 lb cubed or stew beef, trimmed into bite-sized pieces
1 medium onion, cut into chunks
2 large sliced carrots (or 15-20 baby carrots sliced up)
2 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 cup ketchup mixed with 1/4 cup water
3-4 TBS worcestershire sauce (depending on how much you like the taste of it. We like a lot!)
Salt & Pepper to taste (optional)
Bay leaf (optional)

Pre-heat the oven to 325. Put everything into a casserole dish with a lid. Pour the liquid all over everything and mix it up so that all the ingredients are coated in sauce. Season with S&P and toss in the bay leaf. Cover the dish in foil and then cover with the lid. Cook 2.5 hours, until the meat falls apart.