The Occasional Recipe: beef stew
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Here’s an easy one that never fails. It’s from my late friend Dan Murphy, who served it in front of the fireplace with a warm, crusty baguette, a first course of green salad, and a dessert of homemade chocolate pudding. Perfect! He got it from a book called “Cooking from Quilt Country.”
2 lbs stew beef
2 ribs celery
3 small onions
1 28-oz. can tomatoes
1/4 c. water
5 tbsp. minute tapioca
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley
1. Preheat oven to 300°. Cut meat into bite-size pieces. Prepare vegetables, cut into about 1-inch pieces.
2. In large heavy roasting pan combine all ingredients except parsley.
3. Bake, covered, for 5 hours without stirring.
4. Add parsley just before serving.
Two notes. First, about the parsley. I have no doubt that it would be a tasty addition. But I have never failed to forget it. Just as I’m cleaning up after dinner I find that little mound of washed and chopped parsley, waiting eagerly for its close-up. (“Is it time now?”) Oh, well. I now consider it optional.
And most importantly, about the direction to bake for 5 hours “without stirring.” I have always taken this to mean both the stew and the cook. So put the stew in the oven and sit down with a good book. Maybe light a fire. After all, it’s only March.