trying to keep warm

Since last weekend, it’s been pretty cold.  It’s been REALLY cold in our apartment and I refuse to turn on the heat because of my fear of a bad headaches.  I don’t know what it is but whenever a heater is turned on my head really starts hurting.  My remedy to keep warm?  Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, layers of clothes, slippers (I HATE wearing socks around the house), and soups/stews.

I had purchased beef chuck the other day and I was about to make beef bourguignon but then I realized we didn’t have mushrooms or bacon.  So I started to google beef stew or pot roast but we had pot roast a couple weeks ago so I wanted to try something else.  I came across Paula Deen’s Old Time Beef stew which is really simple and quite tasty.  The husband gave this recipe two thumbs up.

OLD-TIME BEEF STEW (adapted by Paula Deen)
modifications by me in red

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds stew beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups water
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 or 2 bay leaves
1 medium onion, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Dash ground allspice or ground cloves
3 large carrots, sliced
3 ribs celery, chopped
2 tablespoons cornstarch
salt and pepper to taste
flour to dredge
2 russet potatoes, peeled and chopped

DIRECTIONS

Dry the meat and season with salt and pepper.  Then dredge the meat in flour.  Shake off any excess flour. Brown meat in hot oil. Do this in batches if necessary.  Set meat aside on a plate.  Then add water, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaves, onion, salt, sugar, pepper, paprika, and allspice.  Briefly stir to take the juices of the beef off the bottom of the pan.  Place the meat back into the pot, then Cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours. Remove bay leaves and garlic clove (I tried to remove the clove but it became really soft and I couldn’t pick it up).   Add carrots and celery and potatoes.  Cover and cook 30 to 40 minutes longer.  To thicken gravy, remove 2 cups hot liquid.  Using a separate bowl, combine 1/4 cup water and cornstarch until smooth.  Mix with a little hot liquid and return mixture to pot.  Stir and cook until thicken and bubbly.

This really is a great recipe and pretty simple.  The flavors just compliment each other so well, that I kept going back for more.  I think it may be the worcestershire sauce.  It gave it a a different depth.  Plus it was quicker than the pot roast I typically make.

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