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From the Hearth - Beef Stew

There really is nothing more filling and comforting on a cold winter's night than a thick and rich Beef Stew for dinner. There is something about them that is no other meal. My husband refers to the stew I make as "Torture Stew" because for the five hours that it cooks (Low and slow is the key) he has to smell it but can't eat it.

It seems like an involved recipe, but its really not. I've been making it for a few years now and over that time it has evolved into a catch-all place for left overs and things that have been forgotten in the back of the freezer.

Five Hour Stew

1 TBS Oil
2 1/2 lbs round steak, cubed
2 baking potatoes, cubed
2c carrots, sliced
1c celery. chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cans vegetable soup
1 can water
2 bay leaves
1 tsp each oregano, rosemary, thyme
Salt & Pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 250
Heat oil in large frying pan
Add meat and roughly chopped onion and brown on all sides
Combine all ingredients in large dutch oven and bake for five hours.
Combine all ingredients in crock pot and cook on low for eight hours. If cooking in a crockpot then add the herbs in the last hour of cooking.

What could be simplier?

Make sure you get a good deep seer on the meat when you fry it. That rich coating adds a huge depth of flavor to the final stew.

Beef: Full of fire energy and helps up your energy levels. Something we all need in the depths of winter!

Onion: strongly anti-inflammatory and rich in Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium, Manganese and Vitamin C, onions are believed to increase your physical and spiritual health and strengthen your aura against psychic attack. 

Celery: Soothing and relaxing, this adds a comforting edge to the stew.

Carrots: They help with banishing and dispelling illusions. Thus the origin of the "better eyesight" myth. It just wasn't the physical eyes they were talking about!

Potato: considered very protective, some carve poppets from them. Combining them with onion only enhances the protective effect.

Bay Leaf: It is believe the Delphi Oracle would chew bay leaves before she prophecied. Unsurprisingly, the bay leaf  enhances psychic powers, achievement, education, creativity, divination, dreams, healing, protection, awareness, purification, wishing.

Oregano: Helps create peace and tranquility in a home, and helps soothe an aching heart when you are seperated from loved ones.

Rosemary: For remembrance, loyalty and love.

Thyme: Clears the mind and helps calm the nervous system.