Beef and Onion Stew is for meat lovers who don't like mixed vegetables in their stew. The pickling spices give this hearty soup recipe a bit of a different flavor, a change from the same old thing.
Beef and Onion Stew Ingredients
2 lb. beef stew meet cubes
2 Tbsp. oil
16 small whole onions, peeled (about golf ball size)
1 can tomatoes (14 – 18 oz.)
3 cups water
1 tsp. pickling spices, tied inside a cheesecloth bag [See note below about the spice bag.]
salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. flour
1 cup cold water
Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet or Dutch oven. Add the beef and cook it for about 15 minutes, turning it a couple of times so it browns on all sides. Add the onions and brown them lightly. Add the tomatoes and their juices, the 3 cups water, and the spices. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about an hour, or until meat is tender. Remove the spice bag.
Mix the flour with the remaining 1 cup of cold water until it is dissolved with no lumps. Gradually stir the flour and water mixture into the hot stew. Increase the heat and gently stir as it thickens, cooking for about five minutes. At this point, the stew is ready and can be eaten. However, if you let it simmer a while longer, it will be better.
Note: The reason you put the pickling spices in the cheesecloth bag (spice bag) is to make them easier to take out. You can buy already made cheesecloth or cotton muslin bags for this purpose. Or, you can make your own by cutting a square of clean cotton cloth, putting the spices in the center of it, and bringing the edges up together and tying them with a string, such as piece of plain dental floss. Another option is to put the spices into a metal tea ball, a little utensil used to keep loose tea leaves from making a mess in your tea.