[Mood Tip: Cook stews in cast-iron pots and the iron leeches out of the pot and into the food, significantly increasing the iron content of the meal. This is especially true for foods with a tomato base, such as this beef stew.]
I grew up on this hearty stew, packed with carrots and other vegetables. This recipe makes enough to last all week for dinners, lunches, or snacks. Serve with biscuits and you have a meal-in-one. Or, freeze in smaller portions to use at a later date.
2 pounds extra-lean stew meat, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
32 ounces 99 percent fat-free beef broth
1 tablespoon “Better Than Bouillon” Beef Base (optional)
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
3 large bay leaves
4 cups yellow onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups celery, chopped in 1-inch chunks
8 cups carrots, peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks (about 14 carrots)
1/2 pound mushrooms, washed and sliced thick
1/2 pound white or red potatoes, cut into large chunks
salt and pepper
1) In a medium plastic bag, add meat, flour, paprika, and salt. Shake to thoroughly coat meat.
2) Heat oil in large Dutch oven (preferably cast iron). Place floured meat in pan and cook over medium heat to brown, turning frequently, about 10 minutes. Add broth, bouillon, tomato sauce, and bay leaves. Stir, cover, and simmer for one hour (you can let this stage cook longer if time allows, up to three hours).
3) Add onion and garlic to meat and cook covered another 20 minutes.
4) Add celery, carrots, and mushrooms. Cook for 20 minutes.
5) Add potatoes and mix to cover with stew broth. Cover pan and continue to simmer until potatoes are tender, approximately 25 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Makes 18 cups.
Nutritional Analysis per cup: 177 Calories; 17 percent fat (3.3 grams); 1 gram saturated fat; 33 percent protein; 50 percent carbohydrate; 4.1 grams fiber.