I have a great stew recipe to share with you today, and I hope you’ll love it. Although I don’t make this stew very often, it’s special to me because it was my Grandma’s recipe. Every time I do make it, memories come flooding back of her in the kitchen. She was a great cook, having learned a lot from her German mother-in-law.
The difference between this stew and others I’ve made is that you don’t brown the meat and you bake it at a low temperature, instead of on top of the stove. I guess the slow-cooking is what makes it tender.
I’ve written the stew recipe out just as she had it. I’ve made some changes and note them below. I’m not sure how many years ago she began making this stew, or where the recipe came from, but she’s been gone for more than 30 years, so it’s an oldie!
Five Hour Stew
2 pounds stew meat
1-15 ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
3 onions, thinly sliced
6 carrots, sliced fairly thick
1 cup celery, sliced fairly thick
4-5 potatoes, cut into large pieces
1/2 cup seasoned croutons
1 T. salt & sugar
3 T. minute tapioca
1/2 cup red wine
Don’t brown the meat. Mix all ingredients in a covered casserole. Bake covered for 4-5 hours at 250 degrees and stir occasionally. I’ve found that it works best in a dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid. It seems to make the meat and vegetables more tender when using a lid instead of aluminum foil.
Rather than using red wine, I use beef broth or add water and a bouillon cube. I do one of these variations because I don’t usually have red wine in the pantry.
Instead of minute tapioca, about 2 hours into the cooking time, I mix a little water and flour together (make sure it’s smooth) and stir it in to the stew-that helps make it a little thicker.
I have no idea what the croutons are for, but I always add them-you don’t even know they’re there when it’s finished. I’m sure the croutons could be left out, though.
Serve it up with some nice crusty French bread and real butter and you’re sure to have a crowd-pleaser.
If you fix this great dish, please let me know what you think of it and what changes you may have made. Or share your own recipe; that would be awesome!