Gaston Beef Stew
We've been loving this in my family for years. The recipe used to be in the Joy of Cooking but isn't in the newer editions. So this recipe is from my cooking files, slightly modified by my years of experience with it. My daughter calls it Braveheart Stew because the broth is so thick it needs to be sopped up with bread -- very medieval. The cloves add a mysterious spiciness, and adding the veggies in later on assures they are tender but not the soggy mess often found in traditional beef stew. Enjoy!
Cut 2 lbs boneless stewing beef into pieces. Dredge in flour seasoned with salt and pepper and brown in 2 Tbs olive oil in a large pot.
Remove meat and set aside. To that empty pot, add:
3 cloves chopped garlic
1 large chopped onion
2 cups beef broth
1 cup tomato sauce
A bouquet garni made from:
5 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
Add the meat back in and stir. Simmer, covered, 2 to 3 hours or until meat can be easily pierced with a fork.
During the last 30 minutes of cooking, add:
1/c cup dry white wine
6 medium-sized quartered potatoes
6 quartered carrots
6 ribs celery, quartered
In the last few minutes, stir in chopped parsley. Taste and add salt as needed (You will almost always need salt, so be sure to taste for it.) You may need to add additional liquid as the stew cooks. If you do, add a beef bouillon along with each cup of water you add.
If you plan to serve this the next day, the vegetables will soak up quite a bit of the liquid, so make sure it's brothy before saving. Serve with bread and salad.
The cheesecloth bouquet garni
There it goes into the soup
The veggies and meat are in
Don't forget to taste for seasoning.
Kris loved the stew. He curled up for a nap afterwards.
Big brother and little sister have been testing
this recipe for 25 years.
And they keep approving it.