I had thought about this stew throughout the evening, I decided the following about stews in general and my preference in particular. First I love vegetables, but not cooked in stew and for that long. Next time I make this (and I will, the meat was very tasty) I will make braised beef, not a beef stew. Separately I will cook vegetables and make mashed potatoes.
I had originally purchased the stewing beef for soup. But upon inspection, the freezer had no additional space to store another batch of soup. That only means one thing, stew for dinner. I have never been a huge fan of stew, maybe the flavor was not rich enough; but stew growing up - was not looked forward to.
I prefer a rich mingled flavor, it does not matter what I am eating.
I have come to enjoy my Saturdays in the kitchen, some weekends I don't want to leave the house. I just want to play in the kitchen. This is how I played.
My camera died in the middle of it all, so I had no choice but to go to Costco and get batteries, the BIG pack this time.
1 slice bacon, diced
1 lb stew beef, cut in bite sized pieces
1 small onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c flour
1 t salt
1/4 t fresh ground pepper
1 T French thyme, crumbled
2 ribs celery diced large
6 carrots, sliced 1 inch*
3 potatoes, cut into up
4 dried tomatoes diced small
1/2 c red wine
2 c beef broth/stock
2 t grainy mustard
Fry the bacon until golden brown, remove and set aside. Reserve the drippings.
Combine the flour, salt, pepper and the thyme. Add the stew beef, diced onions and garlic, coat well. Add to skillet with the drippings and brown well.
Prepare the vegetables and place in the bottom of a 4 qt crockpot, add browned beef, sprinkle with the reserved bacon and dried tomatoes. . Deglaze the pan with the beef stock, stir in the wine and mustard. Pour over the beef in the crockpot, cook on high 4 hours, or until done.
Serve with biscuits and a tossed salad.
* carrots can be omitted, double the potatoes. The carrots were not as compatible with the seasonings as I prefer a finished dish to be. The stew would be great with buttered carrots or green beans on the side.