Friday, January 7, 2011

Recipe : Beef Stew & Dumplings

This is a recipe worth sharing. Actually, it's a recipe I should keep to myself. But I won't.   :)

Autumn Beef Stew 

1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds stewing beef
1/2 onion, cut in large pieces
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1/2 green pepper, sliced

3 cups water + one packet of Lipton Onion Soup (beef broth would also work)

1 cup (or so) of baby carrots, OR 2-3 large carrots, cut in large pieces
4-5 medium potatoes, halved
1 medium turnip or rutabaga, cut in large pieces

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in large pieces
1 cup apple juice
(optional - 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels)

2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water
salt and pepper, to taste

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat, brown the beef in the vegetable oil; add onion, celery and peppers, and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes longer. Add water (with soup mix blended in) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Add the carrots, turnip, potatoes, and apple juice; simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes longer, or until vegetables are tender.
(Optionally - add sweet potato, cut in large pieces, for about the last 15 minutes, and frozen corn 5 minutes later.)

In a small bowl or cup, combine cornstarch with cold water until smooth. Add the mixture to the simmering broth, a little at a time, until stew is thickened. Taste and add salt and pepper.

Serve with hot buttered biscuits or dumplings.

Light and Fluffy Dumplings
(from here:
Makes about 16 dumplings

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup milk

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in mixing bowl. Make a well in the center. Combine egg and milk, mixing well. Pour into well in flour mixture and stir with a fork until just blended. Drop by tablespoonfuls into boiling broth. Cook 10 minutes uncovered. Cover pot and cook another 10 minutes. Don't peek! That's the secret to light and fluffy dumplings.

Variation: For Parsley-Onion Dumplings add 1/2 teaspoon onion powder or 1 teaspoon onion flakes and 1 tablespoon dried parsley, crushed to flour mixture and proceed as described above.

Personal note... following the cooking directions above, mine weren't done cooking, so I covered the pot and let them cook for a good long time, probably another 15 minutes or so, and then they were good. BUT, I didn't measure them out in tablespoons-full, I just made big piles in the pot. :)

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