Hearty Stews

Hearty Stews
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Stews are great for families on the go. They are nutritious, filling and so easy to warm up if everyone is coming and going because of conflicting schedules. At the same time, they are also a wonderful meal served with fresh bread, salad and a simple dessert when everyone can be together for a family meal. Remember, stews are easy to adapt to your family's tastes. Experiment and substitute for an ingredient your family may not be fond of. Simply keep the measurements the same, and you should be fine.

Beef and Mushroom Stew


1/2 cup flour

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

3 pounds lean boneless beef, cut into 1 inch cubes

4 tablespoons oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound mushrooms, quartered

2 cans (13 3/4 ounces) beef broth

3 cups burgundy wine, OR 3 additional cups broth

1 pound fresh mini carrots

2 tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. dried rosemary

2 bay leaves

Combine 4 tablespoons flour, 1 tsp. salt and pepper in a bowl and coat the beef pieces a few at a time. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 5 quart heavy pan, over medium high heat. Working in batches, brown the beef about 5 minutes, adding a small amount of oil if needed. Transfer to platter.

Reduce heat to medium. Add onion, sauté about 5 minutes, or until tender. Add garlic for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes, or just until they release their liquid. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a medium bowl; cover and set aside.

Whisk together remaining flour, broth and wine (or the 3 cups additional broth) in the heavy pan used for beef, until smooth. Return beef to pan along with carrots, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves. Bring to boiling, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 45 minutes.

Uncover pot; simmer for 55 more minutes until beef is tender. Stir in chopped onion/mushroom mixture the last 10 minutes. Discard bay leaves, stir in remaining salt.Serves 6.

Oven Stew


1 pound uncooked round or chuck steak, cut into thin strips

6 small red potatoes, quartered

1/2 pound fresh green beans, trimmed

6 carrots, peeled and sliced (or one pound mini carrots)

1 small onion, chopped

1 can (14 /12) ounces beef broth

1/2 cup flour

1/2 tsp. thyme

1/4 tsp. pepper

2 tsp. steak seasoning of your choice

Combine first five ingredients in a 13x9 baking dish. In a medium bowl combine other ingredients with a whisk. Pour over meat and vegetables. Cover dish with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove foil, stir well, and replace foil. Bake 20 more minutes. Makes 6 servings.

Italian Style Stew


1 3/4 green beans, trimmed

1 cup thinly sliced onions

2 tsp. minced garlic

1 small eggplant cut into 1 inch chunks

2 large yellow or zucchini squash, cut in 1 inch chunks

2 green peppers, cored, seeded and cut in narrow strips

1 large baking potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks

1 1/2 cups tomato sauce

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp. salt

1 pound hot Italian sausage

Brown sausage in skillet and drain fat. Place it in slow cooker with all ingredients. Mix well. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours until vegetables are tender. This is a very versatile stew. For a vegetarian dish leave out the meat. You can add other vegetables such as cabbage, lima beans, fresh peas etc. For an extra touch add fresh herbs such as oregano or thyme. Makes 10 cups.

South of the Border Stew


1 1/2 cups tomato sauce

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon cumin

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 1/2 tsp. each dried oregano and salt

1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce

12 baby red potatoes, scrubbed and halved

6 medium scallions or green onions, trimmed and sliced

2 pounds butternut squash, halved, seeded, peeled, cut into 1 inch chunks

8 beef short ribs (4 pounds beef)

In a slow cooker, combine tomato sauce, cilantro, tomato paste, cumin, garlic, oregano, 1 tsp. of the salt and the pepper sauce. Add the potatoes, scallions and half of the squash. Top with the ribs, and remaining squash. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or high 5 hours until ribs are tender. Remove all from the slow cooker to platter. Skim off fat and spoon liquid over meat and vegetables.

Note: You could also substitute a cut of roast, and cut into large cubes in place of the ribs.

Related Recipe Features

Beef Recipes

Cooking with Thyme


About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at Harvestmoongazette.blogspot.com.


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