Baked Beef Stew
2 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
2 lbs. lean beef, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups water or tomato juice
6 small onions
6 medium potatoes
3 stalks celery (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.Put the flour, salt, pepper and paprika in a strong paper bag. Add 6 pieces of beef at a time to the sack and shake until meat is completely coated. Don’t throw away the sack with the left over flour.Heat oil in a heavy medium skillet. Add beef cubes and cook for 20 minutes, until meat is browned on all sides. Remove beef and place in a 3 qt. oven proof casserole dish.
Add the flour from the sack into the skillet and stir until smooth. Gradually stir in the water or tomato juice. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil, scraping the flour from the sides and bottom of the skillet. Pour mixture over the beef in the casserole dish. Cover and bake for 1 ½ hours.
Prepare the vegetables during the last 30 minutes of baking. Peel and slice the onions. Peel carrots and cut lengthwise into quarters. Peel the potatoes and cut into halves. If potatoes are large, cut into quarters. Wash and chop celery. For flavor and color, add 1-10 oz. package of peas or 2 cups of frozen peas, during the last 15 minutes of cooking.
At the end of 1 1/2 hours baking, remove casserole from oven and add the vegetables. Cover the casserole and return to oven. Bake for an additional 60 minutes or until vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork. Delicious!
Substitutions: Use 2 lbs. of lamb, cut into 1 ½ to 2 inch pieces. Trim off all the fat. Boned lamb shoulder makes a good stew. Before serving, spoon off fat from top of casserole and then stir to bring the meat up from the bottom of the casserole.