Old-Time Beef Stew

We have four freezers in our basement. None of them are the king-size chest variety, but regardless, they hold a lot of food. I always keep my fingers crossed that we don’t have a power outage like we did in 1997.

The other day, when I was going through one of them looking for some pheasant legs and thighs, a vacuumed-sealed package of elk meat caught my attention. The backstraps were from 2009 but being sealed and not allowing in any air, there was no freezer burn. I immediately starting thinking of ways to use the meat.

So today, I decided to make some stew. Actually, Therese and I tag-teamed it. She cooked the meat in our pressure cooker while I cut up vegetables.

When the meat was done, we added the vegetables and some spices that were listed among the ingredients in a recipe I found in Therese’s “Better Homes and Garden” cookbook. We used one vegetable that wasn’t included in the recipe, celery. Therese calls it her “secret ingredient.”

Here is the “BHG” recipe. Give it a try. I think you’ll like.  And don’t forget the celery!

Old-Time Beef Stew
2 pounds beef stew meat, cut in 1½ inch cubes
2 tablespoons shortening or oil
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic
1 medium onion, sliced
1 or 2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon pepper
Dash ground allspice or cloves
6 carrots, pared and quartered
4 potatoes, pared and quartered
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
In Dutch oven, thoroughly brown meat in 2 tablespoons hot shortening, turning often. Add 2 cups water and next 9 ingredients. Cover; simmer for 1½ hours, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking. Remove bay leaves and garlic. Add vegetables. Cover and cook 30 to 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Slowly blend 1/3 cup cold water into the 3 tablespoons flour. Stir slowly into hot stew mixture. Cook and stir until bubbly. Cook and stir 3 minutes longer. Serve stew in bowls.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8.