The Richmond Register

Lifestyles & Community

October 31, 2012

Stews just right for cooler weather

The Food Dude

RICHMOND — As we pass from autumn into winter, there’s no better meal to prepare than a good, old-fashioned hearty stew!

This time-honored one-pot wonder not only provides a “stick to your ribs” meal for your family on these wintry nights, but also, because it’s a one-dish meal, helps make kitchen cleanup a bit easier, and that’s always appreciated by the cook!

What’s more, a great stew eliminates some of the worry about what to do with leftovers, since stews only seem to taste better on the second or third day!

The secret to a great stew is to cook it slowly, so that flavors of the ingredients and herbs get an opportunity to “marry”, creating a delightful blend of flavor.

Stews may be cooked atop the stove or in the oven. A crock pot is also a great vehicle for cooking a stew because of its ability to cook the dish slowly. All of the stew recipes below can certainly be adapted to the crock pot.

My mom’s beef stew is a very simple, but very flavorful dish, while the boeuf bourguignon is sort of the Cadillac of beef stews, but not really hard to make and well worth the effort.

So, this winter put a pot of stew on the back burner, put you feet up and anticipate a hearty meal that the whole family will enjoy!

Mom’s beef stew

3 lb. stew beef (or a 3- 3 1/2 chuck roast cut up)

2 T shortening

10 carrots, chopped into 1/12-inch sections

6 onions, quartered

10 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered

2 tsp. oregano

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

1 can whole kernel corn

Bisquick mix

Enough water to cover

Melt the shortening in a large kettle and brown the meat. When the meat is brown, add water, seasonings, onions and carrots. Cover and simmer for about two hours. Add corn, along with its liquid, and the potatoes and simmer another 30 minutes. Mix 1/4 cup Bisquick mix to 1/4 cup of water and mix. Slowly stir this mixture into the simmering stew, stirring, until you achieve the thickness you like.

Follow the directions on the Bisquick box for making dumplings and drop them onto the top of the stew. Cover, and simmer until the dumplings are done.

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