stay-in-bed stew

When I was a kid and my mom made stew, I remember her cubing and dredging and browning the stew meat before she could add her veggies and stock.  I loved the stew.  I always thought the cubing and dedging and browning was A LOT of work.  I don’t generally mind the prep work of stew; the slicing of veggies and crushing of garlic.  Chopping is theraputic in a way.  But standing over a pan of spitting hot oil on top of all that??  Never mind.

A good friend of  mine is a retired Naval Commander.  The guy can seriously cook.  But even he has his limits and sometimes there are days when spending even part of the day in the kitchen is off limits.  He shared this stew with me a while back.  He calls it Stay-in-Bed Stew because, feasibly, you could load up your dutch oven with ingredients and just go back to bed.  Or to the gym, or shopping, or to the zoo.  That’s why I just call it “easy-peasy.”  No trimming, dredging, browning, hot oil spatter, mess to clean up.  Just dump it all in the crockpot or a 3 quart dutch oven and let it simmer.

Stay-in-Bed Stew

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2lbs stewing beef
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup onions, finely chopped
  • 1-2 chopped potatoes
  • 1 chopped parsnip
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 whole allspice kernels
  • 1 can beef bullion
  • 1 15oz. can tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons tapioca

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 275F.   Combine all ingredients in a Dutch oven, cover, and cook for 4 1/2 hours.  If you’re using a crockpot, cook on high for 4 1/2 hours.  Serve with a hearty cabernet and crusty bread.  Enjoy!

***Cook’s Notes:  Parsnips are such a wonderful root veggie and are in season this time of year.  Although the original recipes has all the ingredients cooking for the same amount of time, I throw the parsnips in late to retain their lovely, nutty flavor.  You can add them in the last 30 minutes of cooking if you’d like.  Also, like all stews, this thickens up when refrigerated.  Thin with more beef stock or a little water when reheating.

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