Thursday, September 24, 2009

Recipe for a Hearty Beef and Mushroom Stew

Serve this filling stew on a chilly winter evening. For added convenience, see tip below for slow cooker preparation.

INGREDIENTS
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 pound boneless beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 can (14 ounces) beef broth
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
2 medium carrots, sliced (1 cup)
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, ground
1 leaf bay leaves
2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 teaspoons cold water
3/4 cup instant rice
1/4 cup dry red wine (optional)

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven on medium-high heat. Add 1/2 of the meat. Brown on all sides. Remove with slotted spoon. Repeat with remaining meat and the onion.

2. Return all meat to saucepan. Stir in beef broth, tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots, 1/2 cup water, oregano, garlic powder, thyme, pepper and bay leaf. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 1 hour or until meat is tender.

3. Mix cornstarch and 4 teaspoons water in small bowl. Add to saucepan along with rice. Bring to boil on medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; cook and stir 4 minutes or until slightly thick and rice is tender. If desired, stir in wine and heat through. Discard bay leaf.

Slow Cooker Method: Omit oil. Mix beef, onion, broth, undrained tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots, 1/2 cup water, oregano, garlic powder, thyme, pepper and bay leaf in slow cooker. Cover. Cook 7 to 8 hours on LOW or 4 to 4 1/2 hours on HIGH. Mix cornstarch and 4 teaspoons cold water. Stir into beef mixture along with rice. If using LOW setting, turn to HIGH. Cover and cook 30 minutes longer. If desired, stir in wine. Discard bay leaf.
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