Gather & Prepare Your Ingredients
1.5 lbs of stew beef, cubed (slightly larger than thumb sized). Marinate this overnight, or for a minimum of 3-4 hours in the refrigerator. Take a heavy duty freezer bag, add the stew beef to the bag, 1/2 cup of Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper and 1/2 tsp of herbs de Provence. Close the bag, mix everything around by kneading the bag and marinate this overnight or - for a minimum of 3-4 hours in the refrigerator.
1 large onion (diced into medium and thin slices)
1 lb baby carrots (cut into thirds)
2 large stalks of celery (diced)
*2 large russet potatoes
Olive oil (regular or extra virgin)
2 TBSP butter
Herbs de Provence
Bisquick Dumpling mix & water (per recipe)
Note: With all vegetables, you can use regular carrots, more or less onion and celery as you prefer Same thing with the garlic - you can use fresh garlic or get fancy and used roasted.
Chop your onions, carrots and celery then set aside.
*Leave your potatoes whole - do not cut or peel yet.
Bring 8-10 quart stockpot to medium heat (completely empty) for about 2 minutes or until droplets of water sizzle and evaporate. Carefully add 3 TBSP of olive oil, wait 25-30 seconds for it to heat, then add cubed stew beef. Let it sit for 2 minutes before moving it - you want it to sear and make lots of noise. Stir and sauté this for another 3-4 minutes then add onions, carrots and celery. Add 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper and 1/4 tsp of herbs de Provence. Stir and let sit for 2-3 minutes, stir again and let sit for another 2-3 minutes.
Once vegetables have brightened in color - usually 5 minutes, add 3 quarts of water and one quart of chicken stock.
Note: You can use a mix of water, chicken stock and or beef stock. Ratio of 3:1 water to stock
Once the water and stock reach a boil, lower heat to a simmer, cover and let sit for 40 minutes stirring every 10 minutes. Begin checking the seasoning of the stock. I find that taking a tablespoon out and setting it aside until it is cool works best. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Dice your potatoes into medium sized cubes and add to the pot. Stir in potatoes then check your water and stock level - 2 1/2 - 3 inches above the stock (meat and veggies) line is usually a good bet. Simmer on low heat for another 30 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes.
Note: Potatoes soak up flavor, especially salt, as they cook. Retest your seasoning at the end of the final 30 minutes.
At the end of cooking the stew, add your 2 tsp of lemon juice and 2 TBSP of butter.
Stir in and give the seasoning a final check.
You can set this aside for packaging, freezing or just enjoy a bowl immediately.
If you're ready to add dumplings to this then read on.
The Finishing Move: Dumplings
2 cups Original Bisquick® mix
2/3 cup milk (you can use soymilk if you prefer)
Stir ingredients until soft dough forms, drop by spoonfuls onto boiling stew; reduce heat and cook uncovered 10 minutes. Cook covered for another 10 minutes.
Note: I like them a little more dense and reduce the amount of liquid to 1/2 cup.
It is now quite ready to eat. Yum!
This is a soupier stew than what I grew up on but it's yummy. It freezes well and comes in handy when I want something hot and hearty but *the boy* isn't around to be my personal chef.
Until next time!