Christmas Beef Stew

My mom makes beef stew every year for christmas in her dutch oven. I've tried to replicate it several times, but I've never come close. It's been to brothy, so I've had to make gravy to put over the beef and veggies. Or it's been too something or other and just not quite right. I finally buckled and asked her exactly what she put into it. I normally like to get things right on my own, but you just can't mess with the old family recipes. This one was so easy, I just about fell on the floor! I had put too much thought into it...

My Mom's Beef Stew

1 lb beef, cut into bite size pieces
4 large carrots, cut into bite size pieces
5 potatoes, cut into wedges
1 celery heart, peeled & chopped
1 package Lipton Onion soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can of beef broth or 1 cup of water, (or both if you want it thinner) whatever you have on hand
Salt & pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tblsp worstershire sauce

(My mom wouldn't write down the ingredients, so the above ingredients are from memory)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Brown the beef in the bottom of a dutch oven on medium/high - make sure you liberally coat the bottom with olive oil.

3. Add all other ingredients and bake for about 3 - 4 hours.

That's all she told me. So I'll have to try it for myself. The only problem, I only have a 3 quart cast iron dutch oven, so I'm going to have to reduce this by a lot to get enough for two people. And the timing, eh, well, let's say that she put the dutch oven into the oven at about 3 pm and then she took it out around 7 pm. And we had been drinking beer for a few hours. So I'm not exactly sure of the cooking time, but I guess I can use trial & error to figure it out.

It can't be that hard to screw up beef stew!!!


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