Saturday, January 29, 2011

Jen's Beef Stew with Biscuits

Who doesn't love a big bowl of hearty beef stew with homemade biscuits on a cold winter day?! Well, that somebody USED to be my husband. That's right, I finally broke his hatred for beef stew and it only took me 12 years! Yay!
My version of beef stew is very simple and quick to throw together. I hope you enjoy it!

Jen's Beef Stew

2 lbs beef chuck stew meat (cut into small, bite sized pieces)
3 T flour seasoned with seasoned salt or kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
2 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tsp garlic powder
4-6 cups beef broth (I use low sodium)
1 to 1 1/2 cups peeled and sliced carrots
3/4 cup sliced celery
2 to 3 cups red potatoes (skin on), cut into chunks
Kosher salt, to taste

Combine seasoned flour with stew meat and place into slow cooker (I always use slow cooker liners so clean up is minimal). Add remaining ingredients to slow cooker, stir, cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, stirring occasionally. Check seasonings and then serve with homemade buttermilk biscuits (recipe below). Enjoy!
*Note: if desired, during last 30 minutes or so of cooking time if stew is too thin, turn slower to high setting and add a few Tablespoons of flour mixed with enough water to make a thin paste and stir into stew. Cook on high until stew is to desired thickness, adding more flour/water as needed.

Southern Biscuits
(recipe by Alton Brown)
2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 T butter
2 T shortening (chilled is better)
1 cup buttermilk (if you don't have any, mix 1 T white vinegar with enough milk to make 1 cup)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients together using a wire whisk. Cut in butter and shortening into flour mixture using a pastry cutter, forks or your hands until mixture looks like crumbs. Make a well in center of flour/butter mixture and add buttermilk. Stir until the dough just comes together. The dough will be very sticky

Turn dough onto a floured surface. Dust top of dough with flour and gently fold over onto itself 5-6 times. Press in 1 inch thick round disk. Cut out biscuits using a 2 inch round cutter and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet so they just touch. Reform scrap dough and continue cutting. Makes about 12 biscuits. Bake biscuits until tall and light gold on top, about 15-20 minutes.

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