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Curious Stew

Contributed By: Amy | See all of Amy's recipes
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Active Time:  1 Hour
Total Time:  6 Hours
  8 Servings
Cooking for a minature army? This is for you! The recipe can be scaled down simply by thinking of how much you'd use for a traditional meat and potatoe meal. Italian dressing may sound weird, but don't knock it until you try it!
Beef stew meat (1-2 packages)
Potatoes (6-10 decent size)
Carrots (6 decent size)
Sweet onions (one large or more)
Frozen peas (half a small package)
Butter (enough to cover a frying pan)
Creamy or low-fat Italian Dressing (3 bottles)
**This type of Italian Dressing is a MUST. Otherwise, you're going to get a very fatty, not so tasty stew**
Beef stock cubes
Small bunch of broccoli (optional)
One medium size green pepper (optional)
One medium size red pepper (optional)
All purpose flour (optional)
Seasons -- garlic powder (or mince), seasonal salt, black pepper
Get a large frying pan and put enough butter to at least coat the pan. A little more to create a simmer is good.

Add all seasons to your taste in the pan -- garlic powder (or mince), pepper, seasonal salt.

Cut up the onion (dice or chunk) and put it in the pan to fry.

**If you are opting for the peppers and broccoli**

Cut up all these items to your desired size, I recommend dice. Use only the very heads of the broccoli and dice it up very well. Add all these items in with the onion to fry for a time.

Add a couple tablespoons of water to the pan if needed to keep items from burning or sticking. Simmering is good.

Add your meat and cook long enough for it to brown on an extremely low heat. You don't want to cook the meat all the way. No more than 20 minutes.

While your meat is cooking, cut up your potatoes and carrots to whatever size you want. I recommend good sized chunks.

Now that the meat is brown and your carrots and potatoes are cut up, add all items in the cooking item of your choice.

You're going to want to cover all the items in a mix of Itailian dressing and beef stock. Use 1 cup of Italian dressing to every 2 cups of beef stock. Follow the beef stock directions that are given (typically one cube for a cup of water).

You can cook this stew in a slow-cooker or large sauce pan.

**If you cook in a slow-cooker**

Put it on low and let it go for at least 6 hours, maybe closer to 8, but no more than 12. Depending on how thick your potatoes and carrots are, turn the heat up a medium or high setting an hour to two hours before serving. This will make sure that all thick pieces are completely done. With a cover on, the watery part of this stew should remain fairly consistent. Be prepared to add more of the Italian dressing and beef stock mix, however. You want to keep the contents fully submerged in the mix.

**If you cook in a large sauce pan**

This can take 4-6 hours, but you must keep an eye on the stew, otherwise you run the risk of burning it. Cook on a low to medium heat. A half an hour to hour before serving, turn the heat up some, but don't boil the contents of the stew. Use a cover and be prepared to add more of the Italian dressing and beef stock mix, as the heat can make it burn off.

Toward the end of the cooking period, you'll notice the stew is not that thick or not as thick as you may want it.

No more than a cup of ice cold water and 4-six tablespoons of all purpose flour should do the trick. Mix in a bowl or cup BEFORE adding to stew. The consistency of the mix should be very thick and NOT lumpy at all. Whisk it up good and add to the stew to thicken it.

You're ready to serve! Contents will be extremely hot. 5-10 minute cool down period needed in serving bowls.

Date Added: 03/15/2010
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