Back in July, I bought a whole bottom round for a mere $1.49/lb.  I cut it all up, broke out the Food Saver, and into the freezer it went.  I cut up the odds and ends for stew meat – and tonight was the stew.

I’ve never followed a recipe for stew.  You put stuff in a pot and then you eat it.  And, somehow, it always tastes good.   I can never make a small batch of stew – or soup, for that matter.  The pot just seems to keep getting fuller and fuller.  Tonight was no exception.

My mom wrote out a recipe in her cookbook years ago.  She really didn’t follow a recipe, either, but that was a close approximation to what she usually did.  Definitely the coffee. Anything stewed or braised had coffee in it.  It’s one of natures little miracles.  It really enhances the flavor.

So tonight’s stew started out with browing the beef cubes in bacon grease.  Yes – I save my bacon grease just like my mother and her mother before her – and most likely her mother, too…  It added a really nice, rich flavor.  Then went in some onions and garlic.  When they were fairly well cooked, I added a couple of cups of red wine and let it cook down.

I added beef broth and a cup of coffee and then let it simmer a couple of hours.

Next was carrots, celery, potatoes, and peas.  I cut the potatoes large, figuring they would break down, but they fooled me – they almost disappeared.  So, I cooked up some egg noodles and tossed them in.

Oh… and I thickened it with a Beurre Manié – equal parts of butter and flour, kneaded into a paste and stirred into the liquid.  It’s one of my favorite thickening tricks.

Into bowls it went along with thick slabs of bread and lots of butter.

Dayum, it was good!  And there’s enough left for another dinner and a big container for Victor’s mom.

Life is good.