Over a Cup of Coffee: An autumn stew

This past September, our son Jamie and grandson Kenny went on a hunting trip to Alaska where they got two moose.

They packaged the meat and flew it home, and they shared some of it with us. So when Jamie and Kenny were here a couple of weeks ago, I made a moose stew.

I thawed some of the meat and cut it into small pieces. I floured and seasoned the meat and then browned it. While it browned, I chopped up some potatoes, carrots, celery and onion and put it in the slow cooker with a few frozen peas and some bouillon. Then I added some water and the moose meat. I cooked it on medium all day. (I’m sure this is the way most of you make stew.)

That was the day that it snowed and the wind blew. We could smell the stew as it cooked away. When we were about an hour away from eating, I added a little flour to the stew. (I’ve learned to add the flour to cold water first and then add hot liquid a little at a time before putting it in the crock pot to prevent lumps.) I stirred the stew and then let it simmer until supper.

We had stew, lettuce salad and buttered French bread. Yum! I also made a peach cobbler for dessert.

Then about 10 days ago, Mary Burnett, of Craig, sent me a recipe for “Autumn Beef and Cider Stew.” She wrote, “I made this the other day. I thought it was very good and definitely in season for this time of year.”

She also wrote that she used one pound of stew meat instead of the two pounds called for in the recipe. If you use two pounds, consider using a little more liquid.

Mary said it was a “rich, thick stew.”

Thanks, Mary. I have not taken time to try the recipe yet, but I probably will on a snowy, cold day. That’s the best time for a yummy stew.

If you have a recipe you’d like to share, call 970-824-8809 or write to P.O. Box 415, Craig, CO 81626.

Autumn beef and cider stew

2 pounds beef for stew, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 slices bacon, 1/2-inch pieces

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 can (10 to 12 ounces) condensed French onion soup

1 cup apple cider

1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

1/2 cup unsweetened dried cranberries

Cook bacon in stockpot over medium heat until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels on a plate. Brown half of the beef in the bacon drippings over medium heat. Remove from stockpot. Repeat with remaining beef. Season with salt and pepper. Return beef and bacon to the stockpot. Add soup and cider. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover tightly and simmer for 1 3/4 hours. Add sweet potatoes and cranberries to stockpot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer (covered) for 20 to 30 minutes or until beef and potatoes are fork tender. 4 to 6 servings.

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