The Fabulous Baker Girl

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Biscuits and Beef Stew: A Classic Combination October 20, 2009

Pancakes, biscuits, and stew 036They are a classic combination.  At least to me.  They just go together.  I mean, you need the warm, flaky biscuit to sop up all the gravy leftover from the stew.  Of course, in my house you’re more likely to see a biscuit sopping up butter mixed with honey.  But that’s beside the point.

When fall hits and bathing suit season gives way to something less scary, all I want to do is hunker down and curl up with my favorite blanket and a good book or look out the window at the changing colors in the trees.  What better accompaniment could there be than stew?

When Erin or Prudence Pennywise (http://www.prudencepennywise.blogspot.com/) chose sweet potato biscuits for this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie, I thought what better time to have beef stew for dinner.

My recipe for beef stew was given to me by my mother-in-law.  It is my favorite kind of recipe — it is her recipe and now it is mine.  If it came from a cookbook, no one knows which one.  It the kind of recipe that the maker can truly claim.  My copy of the recipe is scribbled on the back of another recipe in my husband’s hand.   I love that.  It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy every time I make it.  Plus, this is really good stew.  It’s warm, rich, beefy and loaded with veggies — although not rutabaga which is my mother-in-law includes.

The biscuits were a great addition with the stew.  I was a bit worried that the sweetness of the sweet potatoes might not go well with it,Pancakes, biscuits, and stew 033 but I worried for nothing.  They weren’t overly sweet and even though I added the optional cinnamon and nutmeg, I didn’t really taste them.  I could smell them while it baked though — mmmmmm….

What I loved about these biscuits is that you can make them with canned sweet potatoes.  I’m not usually a fan of canned food but this makes the recipe accessible and easy.  The biscuits are soft and flaky with just a hint of sweet.  They were really good with our honey butter.  I was wondering what they might taste like made with pumpkin.  Then I wondered what they would taste like covered in chocolate gravy (see my other post).  If I had any leftover, I would have tried that.  Maybe next time.

You can find the recipe for Dorie Greenspan’s sweet potato biscuit on Erin’s blog.  The recipe for beef stew is below.

Happy Fall!

Beef Stew

Like many recipes from the home cook, I have no real amounts here.  I just add what looks right to me.  You’ll have to do the same.

Oil

Seasoning salt and pepperPancakes, biscuits, and stew 034

Flour

Stew meat (or a roast, cut up), about a pound

Onions, chopped

1-2 cloves garlic, chopped or minced

1 can Campbells’ Beef Broth

2-3 cans Swanson’s Beef Broth (yes, you need both kinds)

Carrots, chopped

Potatoes, chopped

Rutabage (if you must), chopped

Cornstarch

Peas

Corn

Heat a bit of oil in a large pot.  While it heats, season your beef with seasoning salt and pepper.  Then, dredge with flour.  Brown meat in the oil along with the onions and garlic.

Add in about half the can of Campbell’s broth.   Be sure to scrape up all the flavorful stuff off the bottom of the pan.  Let come boil until it gets thick.  Add in the rest of the broth (both kinds).  Reserve one can of the Swanson’s broth in case you need it later.

Let this gently simmer for an hour or two.

After at least an hour, add in the carrots, potatoes, and rutabaga (if you must).  Let this simmer for about an hour more, or until veggies are nice and tender.  If you think you want to thicken the broth, take out about a half of the broth now.  You can also use some of the leftover broth.  If you think that you need more broth, add that in now too.

When the carrots and potatoes are tender, add in peas and/or corn and let cook until heated through.  Add some cornstarch to your reserved broth and then add that back into the stew, if needed.  Let come to a boil and cook until desired thickness.

Serve with biscuits, of course.

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