Food Friday: Homemade Beef Stew

I don't know about the rest of you but here in the Portland area this summer has not been very hot. I think we have had about a weeks worth of hot weather. Most days it's overcast in the morning and even chilly. Its 3 in the afternoon here and the sun just broke through the clouds. On that note as I sit here and listen to Christmas music on Pandora (Dean Martin "Baby, it's cold outside"), the thought of a nice bowl of home made stew made me feel warm and cozy. Time to pull out my recipe box and camera and show you how I make Homemade Beef Stew.

As some of you know, our family is gluten free. My hubby isn't but the kids and I at home are. I had to learn how to make "Cream of ___" from scratch and to me it is much better. Here is how I make it.
 2 T butter
1 T Free Flour (I use a blend from Carol Fenster)
1 C milk  as far as fat content goes, the higher the richer and more creamy it will be, we always use whole
1 t Chicken bullion (I use Better than Bullion)
Melt the butter over med high heat and stir in the flour. Keep stirring until it is incorporated and bubbly. Add the milk about 1/4 cup at a time and whisk until it thickens, add more milk and whisk until you have mixed in all the milk. Stir for about another minute until thick and bubbly.
This is also how I make my cheese sauce for Mac n Cheese

Now for this recipe I need Cream of mushroom so I like to sautee the mushrooms first then make the sauce in the same pan with the mushrooms removed. It adds more mushroom flavor. I added in about 1C sliced mushroons to 1T butter and sauteed them. Add mushrooms (or chicken, celery, etc) to sauce and stir. turn off the burner and get out your favorite chopping knife and board and head to the fridge

You will need;
  • 1lb stew meat
  • 1/2 C chopped onion
  • 1C chopped carrots
  • 2 large sliced mushrooms
  • 4-5 Yukon gold potatoed cubed
  • 2 celery sticks roughly chopped
  • Cream of Mushroom soup. I like my stew pretty saucy so I usually double the soup but I was low on ingredients...(if using canned soup you will need one or two cans depending on how saucy you like it) 
This recipe is pretty customizable. My kids love carrots so I usually add more and hubby and I love lots of mushrooms and garlic so that can go in too... but this is the standard recipe.

Put all the ingredients except for the soup into a large baking dish. Mix thoroughly, I like using my hands.

Pour soup on top and spread it out to cover the top

Cover with heavy duty foil and bake at 325F for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
This is easily doubled and it will feed my family of 3 young boys, my hubby and I. 
I hope you enjoy and tell me if you make it. I would love to hear what you think