Stew is a great meal for the winter months. This is a recipe I have found and tweaked to my liking.
- 4 slices bacon diced
- 2 TBSPs olive oil
- 2 LBs stew beef
- 5 TBSPs flour
- 1/2 TSP salt
- 1/2 TSP black pepper
- 1/2 TSP garlic powder
- 10 ozs brown mushrooms
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 8 Cups beef broth or 8 TSPs “better than bouillon” + 8 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup barley
- 2-1/2 cups sliced carrots
- 3 medium baking potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 Cup green peas(Frozen preferably)
- 2 TBSPs of additional flour
Put the bacon in the bottom of your pot and cook until almost crispy. I have used both turkey bacon and pork bacon for this, and the pork bacon adds more flavor, but you can use turkey bacon if you want to.
Put your beef pieces into a gallon sized plastic zip bag. Put the 5 TBSPs flour in as well as the black pepper and the garlic powder. Seal it, then shake it all around to coat the beef pieces.
Now using tongs place about a fourth of the beef in the pot. Add the olive oil. Let the meat brown on whatever side is down then use the tongs to turn it over to brown the other sides. If you put all the meat in the pot at the same time it won’t brown as well. Once this first batch is browned, take it out with the tongs and place on a plate. Then repeat this step until all the meat is browned. The meat will not be cooked just browned.
Once all of it is browned add it all back to the pot. Add the mushrooms and onion. Cook this for a few minutes until the onions are somewhat tender. Make sure you stir it frequently.
Add your broth and bay leaf. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes on medium-low heat.
Next add the barley carrots. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes.
Add potatoes and simmer for another 25 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.
Add your peas and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
If your liquid isn’t as thick as you would like, put your flour, the additional 2 TBSPs that is, in a sifter or fine meshed sieve and sprinkle a little bit on the surface of the stew at a time. Then stir it in. Repeat until all the flour is in the stew.
Let it cook for about ten minutes longer. The liquid will be thicker.You can actually turn off the heat and let the residual heat within the pot thicken up the liquid.
Ladle out some into a bowl and enjoy!