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French Beef Stew

3 sl Bacon; cut into pieces
2 lb Beef stew meat
1 c Water
1 c Dry red wine
1 Beef bouillon cube
2 Cloves garlic; chopped
1 tb Instant minced onion
2 ts Salt
1/4 ts Thyme
1 Strip orange peel
18 sm White onions; fresh or canned
3/4 lb Small mushrooms
2 tb Cornstarch
2 tb Water
1 pk (10-oz) frozen peas
1/2 c Pitted ripe olives; drained


Fry bacon until crisp in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Push bacon bits to side of pan. Add stew meat and brown. Stir in water, wine, bouillon cube, garlic, onion, salt, thyme and orange peel. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour or until meat is tender. In a covered saucepan over high heat, cook onions in 1 inch of boiling, salted water for 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook 5 minutes longer. Drain. If using canned onions, skip this step and cook mushrooms in a small amount of butter. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and water and add to stew. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly, and continue cooking until thickened. Add onions, mushrooms, peas and olives. Cover and heat for 10 minutes. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.



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