Friday, October 24, 2008

park city oven stew

i have two stepdaughters and they come to stay with us every other weekend. it's my philosophy that families should eat dinner together as often as possible and i know their mom works at night, so they rarely eat with her, especially at home. i try to make dinner a big deal anyway, but even more so when they stay with us. i usually try to get paul to find out what they want to eat when they are at our house so i can have the ingredients on hand.

this past week, i got this same recipe from two different people: debbie- a co-worker of mine, and from one of the other moms on my pta board. debbie calls hers 8-hour stew and the other lady calls hers park city oven stew. i like the park city name as i think it sounds all rich n' fancy, so i'm calling it that here, even though in all reality, it's an 8-hour stew.

not only was this easy to make, but it started to smell fantastic after just one hour in the oven - which made the rest of the day mouthwatering, to say the least. everyone was starving by the time it was ready to eat.

another note: while i love my crock pot, it's my opinion that crock pots should only be used for certain recipes and mostly in the summer. you could certainly make this in a crock pot, but the oven is superior in creating flavor. that's just my opinion.

so..from my kitchen to yours,

park city oven stew

2-3 lbs. stew meat
6-8 potatoes, cubed (i leave the peels on)
4-5 carrots, peeled and sliced into thick chunks, on the diagonal
3 stalks celery, cut
1 whole onion, peeled and quartered
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
2-3 bay leaves
1 pkg. lipton onion soup mix
1 8-0z. can tomato sauce
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of mushroom OR cream of chicken soup
salt and pepper

optional: 1 box of mushrooms, cleaned

heat oil in a large kettle. put stew meat into a ziplock bag, add 1/4 - 1/2 cup flour. add seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic salt, onion salt, whatever). shake to coat. brown the stew meat in the oil. (you can skip this step to save time if you want.)

preheat your oven to 225 degrees. put all the vegetables and the meat in the bottom of a large oven-proof dish. i just used my pampered chef 9 x 13 baker, but you can use a deeper casserole dish with a lid if you have one. add the bay leaves (these are quickly becoming one of my favorite spices). combine the soups, the tomato sauce and the onion soup mix. pour over the top of the meat and vegetables. since i used a baking dish, i covered the top tightly with foil before i put it in the oven.

if i use the mushrooms (and i do, paul loves them...),i add them after the stew has cooked for about 5-6 hours or when i remember. i leave them whole, but you can do what you want. let the stew cook for at least 6 hours, but it will be even better after 8 hours. serve with wheat bread for dipping - totally yummy.


Bridge said...

Hmmm... do you open it and stir it?

jess said...

i don't think you need to, but i did when i added the mushrooms. because it's cooking on such low heat, the sauce really just kinda comes together on it's own...

i only stirred it once the entire time. and my kids LOVED it. plus i left the onions really huge so i could pick those out for the kids.

Debbie said...

I am going to call it park oven stew also. I like that better. I have a great "dinner in a pumpkin" recipe that is so easy and you fill a pumpkin up and bake the entire thing together. My kids love that this time of year. I will get you that recipe also.
I did your shrimp recipe.. SO GOOD!!!

Hillary said...

I'm going to make this tomorrow. It sounds so yummy!

jess said...

eff. i wonder why your pics don't show up on my actual page, but they show up here?

crappy template dammit. maybe i'll try to fix that this weekend.

deb, IN a pumpkin? hmmm...

hills - it makes tons! invite friends over!

jess said...

by here i meant on the pop up window. obviously NOT on my page.

i'm frustrated with HTML and blogger. dammit.