There was a chill in the air today and beef stew was calling out to me. I had the windows open and the crisp breeze was flying free throughout my house. This is my FAVORITE time of year! Minnesota fall weather has officially made an appearance this September, and that means two things to me, apples and comfort food.
We had plenty of potatoes and root vegetables in our CSA this week (Learn about CSA HERE.) Plus, plenty of stew meat in the chest freezer from the 1/4 cow we purchased locally awhile ago. Beef stew was so happening today.
I love soups and stews. There are literally no rules, and since my kind of cooking involves a lot of eyeballing and using up what’s in the fridge, soups and stews are the ticket. They also make great leftovers for lunches, and nothing gives me a better excuse to bake home-made bread than soup and stew.
Just like most of the recipes I post, this one is also very customizable. In fact, every time I make soup or stew, it almost always turns out different. I’m a big fan of creative cooking! You can easily substitute your favorite root vegetables and seasonings, and you can also omit the flour and have more of a soup than a stew. Substituting potato starch or arrowroot powder is an option for stew if gluten needs to be avoided. I’ve wanted to try this recipe actually using chopped apples in the stew as well because I just know that has to be good. That will be happening soon!
Here is a list of ingredients you will need (Printable recipe at the end of this post!)
- 1 lb Cubed stew meat
- 8 Cups coarsely chopped potatoes (I used Yukon Gold today) and root vegetables. Today, I used onions, turnips, and carrots. (Yams and Rutabega are yummy too.)
- 2 Cups beef broth
- 1 Cup apple cider
- Salt, Pepper, to taste
- 2 Tsp Penseys Beef Roast Seasoning
- 1 Bay leaf
- 3 Tablespoons real butter
- 5 Tablespoons white whole wheat flour
- 1 Cup frozen sweet peas
Since we had some running around to do this afternoon, I opted to use my crock-pot for today’s stew. If you use a stock pot, simmer on low for half the time the crock-pot calls for.
- Heat skillet on med-high, melt 1 Tbsp of butter in a skillet and lightly brown stew beef. Transfer meat to crockpot.
- Re-use the same skillet and melt 2 Tbsp butter. lightly sauté potatoes and root vegetables.
- Sprinkle 5 Tbsp flour over veggies in the skillet. Stir to coat and cook for another minute or two. Transfer to Crock-pot.
- Add remaining ingredients to Crockpot, except peas.
- Cook on High for 3-4 hours, or until stew beef and veggies are tender, stirring occasionally.
- 5-10 minutes before serving, add the peas.
When I had my stew simmering in the Crock-pot and all the dishes were done, I felt compelled to make bread. Like I said earlier, having stew is a perfect excuse to make real, from scratch, home-made bread.
Bread has gotten a pretty bad rap lately. For many people, bread is the enemy. I myself don’t eat much bread, but that is mostly because store bought bread, in my opinion, isn’t even bread anymore. The ingredient list in an average loaf of store-bought bread can seem endless, and bread from the bakery department of the grocery store is the worst for that! (The bread I made today had only six ingredients) If I’m going to eat bread, it better be the real thing. Unless, I make it myself, or find store bought bread that has real food ingredients, I will pass.
I put my heart into my bread baking. It is a skill I’m still perfecting, but baking bread truly connects me with times passed. I picture myself as my grandmother would have been, baking bread to go with the evening meal. I don’t find time to do it very often, but it is incredibly rewarding to me when I do.
The history of bread is SO incredibly interesting to me. Awhile back, I was sucked into the Netflix documentary “Cooked” based on the best-selling book by Michael Pollen. It’s a four-part series about how our relationship with cooking has dramatically changed. He touches on many areas of food and cooking, including bread. It is a huge part of our history as humans and after watching, I truly have an appreciation for the role bread has played in so many cultures.
I really hope you enjoy this stew. It’s one of those meals that I cook to welcome fall. Do you have a favorite fall comfort food recipe? I’d love to hear from you!
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