Thursday, February 11, 2010

Beef Stew and Rosemary

I wonder what my friend would say if I told her that the secret ingredient in the beef stew I brought her used to be a part of the landscaping in the common area.

One day my mom was walking with us to Caleb's school. On the way she pointed to one of several identical bushes along the road and identified it as rosemary. The herb. Yeah. All this time I just thought it was useless greenery. I should say, only useful in that it was green. She pulled off a sprig and rubbed it between her fingers. "Smell that," she instructed. I did. It smelled really good.

The next time I planned to make beef stew I checked carefully to make sure none of my neighbors were watching, snagged some leaves, and shoved them in my pocket. At home I washed them thoroughly and they went into the pot.

Here's my favorite recipe for beef stew (taken from and modified just a little):

Beef Stew

  • 2 pounds cubed beef stew meat
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 cubes beef bouillon, crumbled
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, or 2-3 tsp fresh if you happen across an obliging bush
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 stalks celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped


  1. In a large Ziplock bag shake the beef in the flour to coat. In a large pot or dutch oven, cook beef in oil over medium heat until brown. Dissolve bouillon in water and pour into pot. Stir in rosemary, parsley, pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 hour.
  2. Stir tomato sauce, potatoes, carrots, celery, and onion into the pot. Cover and simmer 1 hour more.

No comments: