I found this beef stew recipe in a cookbook I bought at an old Virginian plantation. The recipe was okay... but definitely needed some "help." I wanted to give it that hearty, thick texture that I love in a big bowl of beef stew. I played around with it, tried an few different things and came up with something quite delicious... at least in my opinion. I love the hint of red wine and bacon in my stew... I mean... wine... bacon... two of my favorite things... how can you go wrong, right!?
Tip - Don't be freaked out by how many ingredients go into this. It just looks like a lot... but they're mostly all small amounts.
ALSO - Make sure you cut your potatoes in big thick chunks... otherwise, if they're small, they'll fall apart and you'll end up with a beefy, potato soup. :-(
1- 1 1/2 pounds of stew beef, cut in one inch cubes
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4 strips of bacon, chopped up in small pieces
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon or a dash of Allspice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup of tomato juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 medium carrots, skinned and chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
2-2 1/2 cups of potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes
2 tablespoons red wine or a dry vermouth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon of flour
1. In a large stewing pot, cook the bacon on medium high heat until it's brown and slightly crispy. With a slotted spoon, remove bacon bits from the pot and put on a plate lined with a paper towel and set aside.
2. Add beef cubes to the pot and let cook in the bacon grease. About 5-6 minutes.
3. Add chopped onions to the pot and cook for 2 minutes.
4. Add broth to the pot. Stir. Add tomato juice, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, lemon juice, paprika, and allspice. Stir. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
5. After 1 hour, add carrots, potatoes celery and 2 tablespoons of red wine (vermouth works too.) Let simmer for 1 hour.
6. In a small bowl, add cornstarch and flour and mix with 1 tablespoon of water. Add to the stew, stirring it in slowly and carefully.
7. Remove stew from heat and let it rest for 3 minutes to thicken.
8. Serve with buttered bread or dinner rolls.