Winter Beef or Lamb Stew

Late root vegetables still around. Comfort food on murky gray December days. Serves 4.

1 1/2 – 2 lbs. beef chuck or leg of lamb. Cut into stew-sized chunks.

In a large stock pot, brown the meat in stages on all sides in a little olive oil. Season each time with garlic powder, ground black pepper, thyme, dash of cayenne to taste. Put meat aside in a bowl with drippings after each browning stage.

Add 1/4 cup chicken broth to the pot to deglaze and pour over the meat in the bowl.

In the same stock pot, brown chopped veggies, about 1/4 cup each:

celery with leaves
carrots
onions
2 cleaned leeks

Season with oregano, thyme, garlic powder, basil to taste.

Pour the meat chunks and broth back into the stock pot and stir with veggies. Add 1 cup dry red wine, such as a French Beaujolais. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 1-2 hours.

Add:

2 peeled quartered onions
10-15 whole fresh mushroom caps
large chunks of carrots and celery
another cup of red wine

Bring to boil and simmer half-covered for another hour or so. Meat tender, veggies cooked through but not soggy.

Serve with horseradish mashed potatoes.

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