2nd Winter Soup

This week has brought emails and phone calls from family and friends who are relaying how cold it is in Texas. I do miss that. I love when the cold weather is howling outside, the fireplace is lit and I get in the kitchen and bake away. It is my favorite time of the year. Plus, when it is dark and cloudy, dust doesn’t show as well as when the sun comes out. I love that. This beef stew is perfect for the cold winter nights when all you want to do is sit by the fire and eat everything in sight. (I think I do that in summer also, without the fire place)

2 pounds trimmed boneless chuck roast, cut into 2″ cubes

1 1/2 teas kosher salt, divided

1 teas ground black pepper

2 tables canola oil”

3 medium yellow onions, halved and cut into slices

6 garlic cloves

1 (12 oz) nut brown ale

1 1/4 cups unsalted beef stock (such as Swanson)

1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 2″ pieces

1 1/2 lb baby Dutch potatoes, halved

4 thyme sprigs

2 bay leaves

2 tables flour

1 tables Dijon mustard

1 tables red wine vinegar

1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle beef evenly with 1/4 teas salt and 1/4 teas pepper. Add 1 1/2 teas oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add half of beef to pan; cook 6 minutes, turning until well browned on all sides. Remove beef from pan. Repeat procedure with other half of beef; remove beef.

Add remaining 1 tables oil to pan drippings; add onions and garlic. Saute 4 min. Add beer, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil; cook 2 min. Stir in 1 cup stock, remaining salt and pepper., Bring to a simmer. Carefully pour mixture into a 6 qt electric slow cooker. Add beef, potatoes, carrots, thyme and bay leaves. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours.

Combine remaining 1/4 cup stock and flour, stirring with a whisk. Stir flour mixture into stew; cook 15 minutes or until thickened. Stir in mustard and vinegar. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Sprinkle with parsley.

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