Saturday, August 16, 2008

Beef Stew with Dumplings

Printable Recipe

Very good stew!

1 lb stew meat
4 cups hot water
2 tsp beef bouillon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 or 2 bay leaves

3 potatoes, cut into chunks
3 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 small onion, cut into chunks
1 green pepper, cored and seeded and cut into fourths (This is just for flavor, you will be removing it after vegetables are cooked through)

1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking pwd
3/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp shortening
3/4 cup milk

To Make The Stew: Trim the stew meat, and cut into even pieces. Brown in a large skillet that has a cover. You should do this in batches, because if you brown it all at once, the meat will not get a nice sear. Drain.

Note: For each batch of meat that you brown, liberally sprinkle with paprika. This will give the stew a very nice flavor (not peppery, though) and color. In my opinion, this is key to the recipe.

After all of the meat is browned, place it all in the skillet and add the water, beef bouillon, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook, covered for 1 1/2 hours, or until meat is almost tender. It will still continue to cook, once you add the vegetables.

Add all of the vegetables and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to a simmer, cook covered again, for another 20-30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Note: I usually discard the bay leaves when I put in the vegetables, and add a new one. This just seems to intensify the flavor of the bay leaf. I also add an additional 2 cups water, so I can have more gravy in the end. I add additional seasonings when I do this. When vegetables are tender, remove the green pepper and bay leaf. Now prepare the dumplings.

To Make the Dumplings: In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking pwd, and salt. Cut in the shortening until mixture resembels coarse crumbs. Stir in the milk. Now bring the broth in the skillet back up to a slow boil, and drop the dumpling dough by spoonfuls onto the top of the meat and vegetables. Note: You really don't want the dumplings to be covered in the broth, so if it seems there is too much, remove some of it, and keep it hot in a separate saucepan, returning it once the dumplings are cooked through.

Cook the dumplings over medium heat uncovered, for 10 minutes, then cover the pan and cook for another 10 minutes, or until they are dry. Return the broth to the pan, if you removed any of it. return to a boil and thicken the broth for gravy, using a mixture of flour and cold water. Serve.

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