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Beef Stew - Barnsey Family Recipe's
My Favorite American Dish
This was something mom made around the same times during the year. Usually when it was cold but sometimes during the summer when the veggies were nice and fresh. She also used this same outline to make chicken or turkey stew. It was always so hearty!
I had many full blooded Italian relatives who were also great cooks and it seemed to me that there was an unspoken competition between my mother and my various aunts. Without fail my mother won those battles as far as my siblings and I were concerned. We even preferred her Italian dishes because she had strayed from the usual standards and through experimentation she improved upon what she had learned as a young woman.
Too many of her whimsical variations have been lost to all of us. I miss her cooking specialties nearly as much as I miss her. I remember my dad eating bowl after bowl of her stew while the rest of us looked on in awe. Now a grown man I have learned to put good food away in just that same manner. I have an Italian girlfriend who has expanded my palette and makes me feel like a King at dinner time and I am sure my mom would be pleased and my dad would be proud.
Bonnie's Beef Stew
First I will list the ingredients. Beef cubes sliced to bite sized chunks, use your own judgement as far as how much beef to use; Potatoes peeled and chopped to bite sized chunks; Carrots cut down to bite sized pieces; Celery cut in 1/2 inch pieces; Onions sliced, 2 cans of peas; I large can of Beef Broth; Pepper, Garlic, Parsley, Basil and a bit of hot pepper flakes.
Let us begin! Brown the beef in the same pot you are going to use for the stew, then pour in the broth and an additional can full of water. Add your onions, celery, carrots and all of the seasoning and let the mixture simmer for two hours.
Now that two hours have passed add potatoes and additional water if needed keeping all ingredients submerged. When the potatoes are nearly done add the two cans of peas with the water. Cook at an easy boil.
Now, to thicken the juices! Texture is what separates a soup from a stew.
Place about 2Tablespoons of flour in 3/4 cup of water and stir in real good until you get a nice smooth texture. Make sure it is not too thick and not too watery and stir it real well. Finally add the thickening mixture very slowly and stir at the same time. Pour in towards the edge of the pot, not the middle. When the stew juices have thickened like a gravy you got it! Nice!
As a side dish you really do not need anything but some fresh, warm italian bread really makes this stew even better. Just dip and enjoy!