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Sunday Beef Stew

Despite its title, this hearty beef stew is delicious any day of the week. A good beef stew depends on good stew meat. This recipe calls for beef chuck, which is ideal for stew meat, but seldom what you get when you buy packaged "stew meat" at the supermarket. When I make this stew, I buy a small chuck roast (2-1/2 to 2-3/4 pounds), cut it up and discard most of the fat.

Like many dishes, I truly believe this and any other stew is better the second day. Therefore, I always make this stew the day before I want to serve it. Gently reheated, it's perfect. The good beef flavor combined with the thyme, garlic and vegetable flavors have all had a chance to marry.

  • 2 pounds beef chuck cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 5 tablespoons (1/2 stick plus 1 tablespoon) butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced or put through a garlic press
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 carrots, chopped
  • 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 4 small onions, quartered
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • salt and black pepper to taste
Over medium heat, brown the beef in the butter. Remove beef, and add the flour, stirring quickly until lightly browned.

Gradually add the beef stock and stir until heated and thickened. Return the beef to the pan, along with the remaining ingredients. Lower heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Remove lid, give the stew a good stir, and set the pan lid slightly ajar. Cook an additional 15 minutes or until vegetables are fork tender.

Check seasonings and add salt and pepper, if desired. Remove bay leaves before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

Prep time: 40 minutes; Cooking time: 90 minutes; Total time: 2 hours 10 minutes

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