Summer is coming to an end. Although I love seeing the leaves change colors, I will miss the warm weather (at least until I head for Florida), swimming, sailing, and all of the fun things that go along with summer. On the other hand, Fall is harvest season, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and comfort foods. We are entering the time of year when I make homemade soups and stews.
A pot of stew became a very important element in my first P.J. Benson mystery. Since P.J. is a CPA and THE CROWS, takes place one week prior to the deadline to file, P.J. is willing to accept her neighbor’s offering of a pot of stew. Finding time to cook isn’t easy when you have stacks of returns to finish and sheriffs’ deputies are either accusing you of murder or considering you crazy.
Here’s what the neighbor brought to P.J. (I did leave out one ingredient Nora added)
BEEF STEW* (Called humble pie by some who need to eat crow)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1- 1 ½ lb beef (chuck or round) cut into bite-size pieces
2 Tbsp flour
½ large sweet onion or 2 med, cut into ½” pieces
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 stalks celery, cut into ½” pieces
4 med. Carrots, washed but not peeled, cut into ½” pieces
4 medium potatoes, peeled & cubed
1-2 cups water + 1 beef bouillon cube or 1 can beef broth
¼ tsp dried basil or 2-3 fresh leaves
½ tsp thyme or sprig of fresh
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper to taste
1. Brown beef cubes in oil. When partially browned, add onions and sauté until clear.
2. Dust meat & onions with flour. Sauté another minute or two.
3. Add water & beef bouillon cube or can of beef broth. Add more water as needed.
4. Add garlic, celery, carrots, potatoes, basil, thyme, bay leaf and salt and pepper.
5. Bring to boil, then turn heat down. Simmer for one to two hours or until meat is tender.
6. Serve with French bread.
Serves six. (Or 2 if my husband is really hungry.)
You can find THE CROWS and AS THE CROW FLIES (the 2nd P.J. Benson mystery) on this PAGE. EAT CROW AND DIE (the 3rd book in the series) will be available June 2015.
Now, while your stew is simmering, do take time to visit the others at this block party.