This is a family heirloom. My mother has memories of her grandma making this stew. She tells me, and now my children, almost every time we eat it, “I used to smell this stew when I would get off the bus. Grandma would have the windows open and I knew… And I would run to the house. We would eat it with buttered bread and a big glass of milk.” So I can think of no better introduction or suggestion. We always make it in big batches, so I tried to break it down into a 1 pot portion. (And therefore can be easily doubled… or quadrupled.) It’s a hearty stew and we have always enjoyed the rustic (large) bites of meat and veggies. I hope you do too!
As organic as possible (my addition)
2 – 2 1/2 lbs chuck roast (stew meat), trimmed and cut into 1″ (or so) cubes
1 1/4 – 1 1/2 lbs Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2″ (or so) cubes
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1″ (or so) pieces
3-4 celery stalks, cut into about 1″ (or so) pieces
2-3 large onions, peeled and quartered
2 large cans whole stewed tomatoes, halved and quartered in the can with a knife (it’s tradition)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp salt, to taste
1 tsp black pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp sugar
1 stick butter
Place meat in a pot (dutch oven) with about 1 1/2 quarts of salted and peppered water. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Allow to simmer until tender, about 30-45 minutes, depending on cut. Skim off and discard the froth. Throw everything (except sugar and butter) into the pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, add butter and sugar. Simmer until veggies are tender, about 45 mins to an hour (if you can wait that long). Salt and pepper to taste.
Open your windows to let out the aroma, and serve with buttered white bread and milk- optional, but highly recommended.