Monday, March 7, 2011

Vegetable-Beef Stew

Tonight we took dinner to a sick friend and her family. They have received a lot of chicken dishes, so I decided to make beef stew because it was different. This isn’t a very spring-like meal, but the weather was cool and dreary all day. I’m always trying new ways to make old favorites and think the one I came up with today is a keeper. (Shh—the secret is bacon.) Enjoy!

Vegetable-Beef Stew
3 to 4 slices bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, thinly sliced
3 celery ribs, thinly sliced
Olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 lb. trimmed stew meat
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper
Leaves from 3 fresh thyme sprigs
Leaves from 3 fresh rosemary sprigs, chopped
1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 (32-oz.) carton beef broth
1 cup water (optional)
4 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into cubes

1. Cook bacon in a Dutch oven for 10 minutes. Add in onion and next 2 ingredients; cook, stirring occasionally 10 more minutes or until vegetables begin to soften. Add in olive oil, if needed. Stir in garlic, and cook 1 minute.
2. Stir in stew meat, and cook until meat is browned on all sides. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and herbs; cook for 1 minute. Add in tomatoes, beef broth, and, if needed, water. Add in potatoes. Bring mixture to a boil, and reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until meat is done, potatoes are tender, and mixture is slightly thickened.

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