Stuntman got a kids' cookbook for Christmas and has tried a couple of recipes. Last night, he asked if he and Dad could make dinner. Dad and the boys cooked while Mom and Miss Bee went outside for a bike ride (twice around the block). They made beef stew, which is one of the recipes we've made before, and it is SO GOOD that I have to share it. It has to cook for a long time, but believe me, it makes the biggest difference. It cooks down quite a bit, too, so if you think you'll want seconds - and you will - you'll want to double or even triple it, depending on how big your family is. One batch of it gave each of us 1 serving and left us wanting more.
1 T. flour
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 lbs. beef stew meat, cubed
2 small or 1 big onion, chopped (looks like a lot, but it's okay)
3 slices of bacon, chopped
2 T. vegetable oil (divided)
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 3/4 c. beef stock (we made it with Better Than Bouillon and water)
1 T. tomato paste (we've found ketchup works just fine)
1 clove garlic, minced or put through garlic press
2-3 strips of orange peel
1 large pinch Italian seasoning
2 T. parsley, chopped
Dredge beef cubes in flour, salt and pepper. Heat 1 T. of the oil in a large pot (3 qt. or larger) and cook the carrots and onions for a few minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Heat the remaining T. of oil in the pot, then add the beef and bacon, cooking until it is lightly browned all over. Return vegetables to the pot. Add tomato paste (or ketchup), garlic, herbs and orange peel and stir. Add the stock and stir again. Cover and cook on low heat for about 2 hours (yes, a long time to wait for such tasty stuff, but your patience will be rewarded) or until the meat is tender. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve with baked or mashed potatoes and a salad or vegetable, and your tummies will thank you.
I think you might also be able to try this in the crock pot - just cook the veggies, brown the meat, then put them in a crock pot with the rest of the ingredients. I'll have to try it sometime. Let me know what you think!