Oven Baked Vegetable Beef Stew

Ahhh...it's winter, truly winter with snow and freezing cold temperatures and the occasional snow day. Those are some of the things I enjoy about winter. The other is the hearty meals of thick soups and stews that seem to only suit the winter season. This Oven Baked Vegetable Beef Stew is one of my favourite winter meals and it's one of the easiest meals you'll ever make.

This recipe is adapted from a 1988 recipe of Anne Lindsay. I can't believe I've been making it for so long! It's a mix of winter root vegetables, stewing beef, canned tomatoes, beef stock and a few herbs. It's a great way to introduce parsnips and turnip or rutabaga to your family.

500 g (1/2 lb) stewing beef
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2-3 onions
2-3 large potatoes
3 or 4 carrots
1 small rutabaga or 2-3 turnips
4 cloves garlic
3 cups water
1 1/2 cup beef stock
1 28 oz can diced or crushed tomatoes
2 bay leaves
Ground pepper
Dried thyme and oregano

What to do

Cut the stewing beef into 1 inch cubes and toss with flour.

Peel the potatoes, rutabaga, and onions and cut into chunks.
Scrub the parsnips and carrots and cut them into chunks.
Peel the garlic and chop it up a bit.

Put the beef and veggies in a large casserole dish. Add the tomatoes, water and beef stock and stir it up. Sprinkle with pepper, thyme and oregano and add the bay leaves. Cover the dish and bake at
325 F for 3 hrs. Stir it a couple of times while baking if you want.

After 3 hrs, you'll have 8 servings of a tasty vegetable beef stew. It's hard to believe that a dish using such basic ingredients that 's so easy and fuss free to make can be so flavourful. I usually serve it with whole grain rolls or homemade cornmeal biscuits.

 Michele, RD