Brrr… time for stew!

Root vegetables

…are the heart of a good stew. Oh, you may think it’s beef or the saucy gravy that results from hours of bubbling away, but it’s definitely the vegetables. For once the meat becomes the side dish to the array of potatoes, carrots and peas that often are the second thought to our meals. So as the weather turns crisp, my heart starts planning our first Sunday dinner of hearty stew. My favorite farmer packed a special treat in my market bag this week – a rutabaga – so I decided this would be the perfect weekend.

You know there’s something about the perfect stew. It has just the right combination of flavors. The mixture of meat (if you include meat) to vegetables to seasonings to vegetables to sauce is crucial. My daughter Kate would opt for more potatoes. My son would vote for more meat. My husband likes the soupy sauce to dip some sourdough bread into. Obviously I have to make everyone happy; here is where the comfort in the comfort food comes in. I want everyone to remember “mom’s stew” as just perfect and the way they liked it. You remember that one special treat from your childhood? The one that everyone loved? That’s what beef stew should be. It is perfect for a chilly night; pair with a nice rye or sourdough bread and some sharp cheddar. I like a good cabernet as well.

Don’t let the rutabaga throw you. So maybe it looks a little strange but it’s just a mild root vegetable that’ll fit right in with those potatoes. It adds a good amout of vitamin C and fiber with few calories! If you have picky eaters, trust me, they’ll never know and you can sneak a new vegetable in. đŸ˜‰

Of course as the mom I want everyone to be happy, full, and healthy, but I also want to make something that is easy to make. My stew is quick and easy to put together. And you know it’s full of good, healthy foods! Get your slow-cooker ready!!

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Mix together and add to cooker:

2-2 1/2 lbs stew meat, cut into small chunks

pepper

3-4 T flour

Add:

2 bay leaves

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. Worchestershire sauce

chopped fresh parsley – about 1/2 a bunch??

1/2 c. red wine

1 14.5 oz can reduced sodium beef broth

1/2 c. water

1 pkg. dry onion soup mix

2 cloves garlic

1 onion, chopped

2 potatoes, cubed

4 carrots, sliced

1 stalk celery, chopped

8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced

1/3 c. fresh peas

1 rutabaga, peeled and cubed

Cook on low all day until meat is tender and veggies are done.

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