When I was a kid, my Mom worked and my grandmother babysat us. So most of my meals were created by her. They were meals that she had been making for years and years. Recipes that were used to feed her kids, then to us…and now, to my kids. One of my most favorite of her creations was Stew. Or, at least that’s what she called it. I’ve come to learn that what she called stew is actually called ‘boiled dinner’ (apparently it’s an eastcoat thing to call it stew). Stew in it’s true definition has a gravy base. Her’s does not.
Though my grandmother has been gone for over 6 years now, I still enjoy her stew as soon as the weather starts to turn cold. I loved it so much that I made a point to watch her intently so I could make it just like her.
1 large package of stew beef (she used some with bone in and some without – I just use boneless)
2 large onions coursly chopped
1 tbsp vegetable oil (or olive oil, whatever you like)
5 lbs of potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 lbs of carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 lbs of parsnips, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 large tunip, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 large cabbage, cut into eighths
In a very large stewing pot, heat vegetable oil, add beef and onions. Sear beef until brown on the outside and onions have carmelized. Fill pot 3/4 full with water. Boil for 1 -2 hours, replacing water as needed to make a nice broth. Add salt, pepper and a bay leaf or two.
Add vegetables in the following order:
Carrots & Parsnips (let cook for 20 minutes)
Turnip (let cook for 20 minutes)
Potatos (let cook for 20 minutes)
Cabbage (let cook until tender, around 15 – 20 minutes)
Once all the vegetables are tender and cooked the stew is complete and can be served any time. Remember, the longer it all sits in the pot together, the better it will taste.