I owe this recipe to my friend Wynell from whose cookbook I copied it one morning. I am renaming it Skier's Stew because it is a slow cooking stew that can be popped in the oven as you go out the door and will slow cook for as long as six hours (even longer I suspect) without drying out.Now I know a crockpot might also seem like a good alternative, but I have to tell you, it is just not the same in flavor or texture. Sadly our condo has neither a crockpot nor a heavy duty casserole suitable for the task. So we found this nice oval cast iron pot at a nearby Walmart.There are three unusual ingredients in this dish that I did not want to have to buy while I was here. So I packed a little bag of tapioca and bottled some of my own Worcestershire and brought it with me. The sugar I purloined form a nearby Starbucks.Next I prepared the vegetables and set them aside.
Then to the bottom of the cast iron casserole I added 2 1/2 pounds of stew beef. No flouring, no browning ... just the raw stew meat, and I tossed it with generous amounts of salt and pepper. Over that I placed the veggies. Over that I poured the canned chopped tomatoes. Then I filled the can with water and added some of that water to the sugar, tapioca and Worcestershire mixture and mixed it up. I added this slurry to the sides of the casserole so that it would mingle with the juices deeper in the stew (as opposed to just pouring it on top).Next I covered it with a piece of aluminum foil and then secured the lid tightly over the seal.
Put it in the oven and set the oven for 275 degrees. It will be done in 5 hours but can stay in longer. If you think your day on the slopes is going to be longer than six hours you might add an extra 1/2 can of water and set the oven to 250 or 225.
The BEST part is coming in the door and smelling this divine creation filling your nostrils.
2 ½ lbs stew beef
1 cup chopped celery
2 cups carrots
2 onions chopped
4 medium potatoes
1 14 oz can seasoned tomatoes + 1 can of water
1 TBS Worcestershire
1 TBS sugar
2 TBS Tapioca
Meat in bottom of Creuset or similar cast iron pot. Salt and Pepper toss. Cover with vegetables. Make a paste of W, S, and T with water and drip along the edges. Add the water. Cover tightly with foil then put on lid. Bake at 275 for 5+ hours. Do not lift lid.