You may have noticed this is my second weekly recipe post within days – I’m making up for lost time, you see. I owe you one weekly recipe, and here it is.
This Oven Beef Stew recipe from Recipes from the Maine Kitchen is one of my all-time favorites. Just ask my husband – I make it at least once a month in the fall and winter, always on a Sunday, and the smell fills the house. As a result, your mouth is watering long before it’s ready, and in my case, that means I have to have a bit of cheese and wine on hand to keep me patient.
I have modified this recipe, which can be found on page 64. The list below are the ingredients and quantities I use, and in parantheses beside them, I’ve included what the original recipe called for.
1 onion, chopped
1 14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes
1 10.5 oz can mushroom soup
2 cups beef broth (1 cup water)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon flour (1/3 cup tapioca)
3 or 4 peppercorns
1 bay leaf (I’ve made this recipe with it and without it – it’s nice to have, but doesn’t have a significant impact on flavor)
1.5 lbs stew beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 lb. carrots, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 large potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 lb. mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste
(I also like to add a bit of seasoning salt)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place all the ingredients into a Dutch oven or covered pan and cook for 3 hours. This recipe serves 4-6.
This recipe in particular is a stellar example of why I love this cookbook – it’s simple, easy, hearty, and healthy. Most of the ingredients I already have in my house, so if I get an urge to make it, my grocery list is minimal. In this case, I added about a 1/2 teaspoon of Cayenne pepper, for several reasons – the first, I like to incorporate some sort of seasoning that isn’t salt and pepper, and my preference is a nice, spicy punch; the second is more health-based – using hot spices, like Cayenne actually revs your metabolism a bit.
What could be better on a cold winter day in Maine than beef stew?