My goal in this blog is to share recipes that have become memorable for one reason or another. I especially like the old recipes from my childhood and early married life. The best ones have lasted all these years. This one is the first meal I made for my husband.

There’s nothing new or unusual about my beef stew. It’s just tasty, filling and fills the home with great smells – a true comfort food. I didn’t have a recipe for this. It was a dish my mom made and I’d helped her put it together many times. So what I’m about to tell you is approximate amounts. Here’s how it goes:

Start with the beef – about one to two pounds, depending on your budget and how many people you are feeding. Now that the kids are grown it’s usually a pound or less. You could go to the meat counter and pick up a package of beef stew meat or you could do some other things. I usually go to the sale or discount bin in the meat section. (Most stores have them.) See if they have some round steak or maybe a chuck roast. Lots of beef cuts will work in stew because you’re going to cook this long and slow. Then it will become very tender. I have also made this with hamburger or a mix of ground beef and ground turkey.

Now gather up the rest of the ingredients:


  • 3 to 4 T. oilstew2
  • flour, 1/4 to 1/3 cup
  • 1 t. salt, to taste
  • 1 t. pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 t. paprika
  • 1 to 2 bay leaves
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Water
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into about 1 inch pieces
  • 1 c. peas. (I usually use frozen)

 Here’s how you put it together:

  1. If it’s not already cut, cut your meat into pieces (1 to 2 inches in size) P
  2. ut the flour and seasonings in a paper bag and mix it up. I’ve also used a pie plate or a deep dish.
  3. Put the meat in the bag and shake it up so the meat is completely coated with the flour.
  4. Put 3 to 4 T. of oil in a dutchoven and turn it to medium high heat.
  5. Dump the bag of meat and flour into the dutch oven with the oil. If it looks like the meat and flour mixture is too much for the oil, add oil 1 T. at a time. Stir so the beef doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  6. Add the chopped onion and keep stirring for a couple of minutes. Then add the garlic.
  7. Now add the carrots and potatoes. Add enough water to cover everything.
  8. Turn down the heat to very low or simmer. Let this cook slowly so the meat has a chance to become tender. This could take one to two hours or so, depending on your cut of beef. Check on it occasionally to see if it’s sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add a little more water if it is. Just don’t add too much or it could become beef soup.
  9. Continue to slowly cook everything until all the flavors join together. When the potatoes and carrots are just about done, add the peas. Cook another 15 minutes or so until the peas are done.
  10. Take out the bay leaves and serve. Sometimes I miss a bay leaf. I always say, “If you’re the one who gets a bay leaf in your bowl, you get a kiss from the cook or luck for 24 hours.” Make up what works at your house.

This dish will also work in the crock-pot on low or in the oven (300). I don’tremember what else we had at that first meal except sourdough bread. I still have a great fondness for sourdough bread with my stew. And I should mention I still have a fondness for the recipient of that first meal: my husband Jay. He still loves my stew.   

 I hope you have a chance to try this old standby. Let me know how it turns out. What was the first meal you remember making for a special person in your life?