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Nothing is quite as warming or smells quite as tempting as a slow simmering beef stew. Here's a classic recipe that gives you the basics.  You can tweak it as you like. I always add turnips or rutabagas, but kids today aren't familiar with those classic winter veggies, so feel free to stick to the core veggies of potatoes, carrots and onion, if that's what you prefer.


  • 1-1/2 pouinds beef cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4-ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons herbes de provence seasoning (or make your own from savory spices such as marjoram, rosemary, thyme, and oregano)
  • 2 diced garlic cloves (or 2 teaspoons chopped garlic from jar)
  • 1 15-ounce or 16-ounce can of beef broth
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups cubed peeled potatos
  • 3 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cups sliced carrots
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • (optional for adults, add 1/4 cup sherry or red wine)


  1. Measure flour, salt, and paprika into a paper lunch bag 9r gallon size Zip-Loc bag. Add beef cubes and shake.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in large pot or dutch oven, and add coated beef cubes. Brown beef cubes.
  3. Add tomato paste, herbes de provence, and garlic. Stir and cook about 5 minutes. Add beef broth, rosemary and bay leaves. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer about 1 hour.
  4. Add potatoes, onions, and carrots. Cover and simmer about 45 minutes. 
  5. Add remaining ingredients and simmer uncovered until stew thickens to desired consistency.

I like to serve this with a big round loaf of some type of artesanal bread.


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