Seasonal Flavors: Beef Stew

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My sister Jackie came late to the cooking game. With a father who loved to cook and three older siblings who wanted to learn and enjoyed messing in the kitchen, she probably figured she had better ways to spend her time. Or maybe she was more like my mother who thought eating “just a bad habit.”

When Jackie lived on her own, I remember her saying that she’d have a bowl of Grapenuts with yogurt for dinner. Hmm. When we’d visit her apartment with our own young children in tow, there was never much remarkable on the dinner table.

But she’s a real whiz in the kitchen now, and dinners in Harrisonburg are delicious and inventive. Her husband Dick, too, is an excellent cook.

One of Jackie’s signature dishes is her beef stew. And it’s the perfect dinner on a cold January evening. It’s also just the thing to send to a neighbor who needs a good, hot meal.  Deceptively simple, beef stew combines so many of our favorite savory bits, with Worcestershire sauce that ties it together. She makes it in a slow cooker; simply put everything in the pot, turn it on and forget it until it’s time to eat.

Go outside for a brisk walk and then return for a cozy supper of Jackie’s stew.

Beef Stew

  • 2 lb. beef chuck roast, cubed
  • ½ cup flour
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 rib of celery, sliced
  • 3 medium potatoes cubed
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 ½ cup beef brot
  • 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce

Cook in the slow-cooker for 10-12 hours on low setting, or 4-6 hours on high setting.

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