Bubbling on the Stove, A Wonderful Winter Stew

As we get busy with the holiday season it is nice to have some recipes that may bubble for a while on top of the stove filling the house with wonderful aromas. 

This Peter Gzowski’s Beef Stew is one that my family enjoyed when my children were small and is one that my grandson likes just as much as his mom did. 
The recipe was first printed in Canadian Living in 1992.  I have modified it slightly to suit my family’s taste.  My daughter liked this recipe so much that she made it in Grade 6 for her class.  We modified the recipe leaving out the sherry.  She thought a clove of garlic meant the whole bulb so needless to say the school smelt very garlicky that day.
I don’t normally use canned potatoes but I find in this recipe they hold their shape better and don’t turn to mush.
This recipe will make 8 generous servings so I can serve it  to my family when they come for dinner and still have leftovers to put in the freezer for lunches or a dinner for 2 or 3.
Peter Gzowski’s Beef Stew
2 lbs.  stewing beef
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. butter
2tbsp olive oil
3 med onions cut into eighths
3 leeks( white part only), thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic minced
½ tsp. dried basil
2 bay leaves
1 can (10 oz) beef broth (undiluted)
1 cup water
½ cup sherry
4 carrots cut into large pieces
4 parsnips cut into large pieces
2 cans (19 0s) whole peeled potatoes
Trim excess fat from meat; cut into 1-1/2 inch (4 cm) cubes. In large bowl, combine 1/4 cup (50 mL) of the flour with pepper; add meat and toss to coat.

In large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, heat butter and oil over medium high heat. Brown beef in batches; set aside on plate.

Add onions, leeks and garlic; cook, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes or until softened. Add oregano, basil, bay leaf and remaining 1/4 cup (50 mL) flour; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

Pour in beef broth, water and sherry, stirring to scrape up brown bits from bottom of pan; bring to boil. Return meat to pan along with carrots and tomatoes; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.

Add parsnips and potatoes and cook, partially covered, for 45 to 60 minutes or until meat and vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Enjoy this wonderful winter stew with some whole grain bread to sop up the gravy.Margaret Ann RD