Saturday, October 2, 2010

Savory Autumn Beef Stew for a Crowd

This stew is rich and meaty, with slightly sweet and spicy tones. Perfect to serve a bunch for any Autumn or Halloween night party!

Into a large Reynold's oven bag (placed in a large pyrex pan) put:

3 lbs beef for stew (should already be cut in cubes -- Sam's sells theirs in 3 lb sizes)
Sprinkle meat with 1 T. Grill seasoning (or salt & pepper generously)
5 cloves garlic peeled & presses or diced
1 28 oz can fire roasted crushed tomatoes (preferably Muir Glen Organic)
2 1/2 cups water
1 envelope Lipton onion soup

Squish ingredients around then tie up bag and roast for 3 hours at 350.

Take out of oven & let cool slightly, then carefully poor contents of oven bag into a large soup or stock pot. (Should be able to hold at least 1 and 1/2 gal of liquid)

Add to pot:

1 32 oz box of organic beef broth
1/2 c. catsup
1 bay leaf
1 t. paprika
1 T. brown sugar

Check seasonings at this point and salt and pepper to taste

Simmer very low uncovered for 1 more hour or until stew meat is as tender as you like it.

While stew is simmering, put 4 potatoes in oven to bake. When nearly fork tender and slightly cool, peel and dice the cooked potatoes, add to stew.

In microwave oven (using Steamer bags) cook 5-7 whole peeled carrots for 3 minutes or until done. Let cool, then slice and add to stew.

(The reason for pre-cooking potatoes and carrots before adding to the stew is they tend to turn to mush otherwise. This way the vegies hold their shape and I just think they taste better... fresher!)

Finally add:

1 lb frozen corn (I prefer baby white and gold corn)
1/2 lb frozen peas
(prefer baby peas)

Simmer until vegies are heated through.

To thicken stew, if you like, remove a ladle of broth, put in a small bowl, add flour one T. at a time until you've got a thick paste (about as thick as typical cornmeal batter). Add this mixture back into the stew, 1 T. at a time, stirring as it simmers until stew is thickness you like. Remember it will also thicken up a bit as it cools, so err on the side of a thinner gravy.

Serve with hot corn muffins, and if you like, a dollop of sour cream.

Serves 12.

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