Today was the first day when it really started to feel like autumn. When I woke up this morning there was a crispness in the air even while the sun was shining bright. For the first time all summer, I remembered the appeal of sweaters and socks---not that I necessarily need either one yet, but something in the air reminded me that their warm comfort would soon be available.
Soon it will be time for all things warm and cozy---including comfort foods. When I think of warm comforting foods my mind wanders towards turkey roasting in the oven, hot bowls of vegetable soup with toasted cheese sandwiches, and this month’s recipe, Homemade Beef Stew.
There’s just something about the dark, rich gravy combined with freshly harvested vegetables that makes me feel like grabbing a sweater and staying inside for the evening. It’s a meal you’ll want to sit down to eat slowly with someone you love as you talk about what happened in your day.
It’s easy to make and easy to enjoy. It would be great to come home to after an evening of standing in the cold cheering for your little soccer player, or it could be enjoyed on a Sunday afternoon while the whole gang watches a football game. However, you choose to enjoy it, I’m sure you will love:
Mom’s Homemade Beef Stew
1. Start by cutting a 2-3 pound chuck roast or rump roast into 1 ½ inch cubes.
2. Put 6 Tablespoons of Canola Oil into a 6 quart pot.
3. Add the meat and cook until it is browned on all sides.
4. After the meat is brown, add:
1 cup of chopped onion 1 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup chopped celery 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
8 ounces tomato juice 1 ½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoons pepper 2 cups of water
1 cup red cooking wine
(At this point I feel it is necessary to say that A Wellrounded Woman Ministries is absolutely opposed to Christians drinking any type of alcoholic beverages. However, when you use cooking wine, the alcohol will cook out. If you feel that you conscience will not allow you to add cooking wine, replace with non-alcoholic red wine or tomato juice)
5. Cover the pot with a lid and simmer on the stove for 1 ½ hours.
6. After cooking for 1 ½ hours, add 6 small potatoes, peeled and cubed, and 7 carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces.
7. Place the lid back on the pot and simmer for another hour.
Now all that’s left is to make the gravy. To be honest, the first time I made this meal, I was petrified of this step. What a waste of time! Making the gravy was easy---just follow the directions and you’ll be fine.
8. To make the gravy, start by removing most of the meat, potatoes and vegetables from the pot.
9. Change the stove setting from simmer to med/high so that the broth in the pot will boil.
10. In a separate bowl, mix 4 Tablespoons of cornstarch with ¼ cup of water and stir until it is smooth.
11. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the boiling broth in the pot, and stir. Within minutes, you should have a nice, thick gravy. (If your gravy isn’t thick enough, then add a little more corn starch dissolved in water.)
12. Finally, place all of the vegetables and meat back into the pot, stir thoroughly, and simmer for at least 10 more minutes.
Yummy! Now all that’s left to do is serve the stew and eat. I can hardly wait to dig in! Hopefully, you and your family will soon be enjoying these warm, cozy autumn meals, too. Have a terrific autumn and remember, cooking isn’t just a chore; it’s a gift you give to those you love.