Lunchroom Stew

We’re having a stew supper after our Christmas concert Saturday night. I volunteered to make stew because I love this recipe and because I think I make a pretty good stew. It’s good to be good at something.

I call it Lunchroom Stew because it’s the closest thing I’ve found to the stew our school cafeteria used to make. My senior year of high school I had a Twix and a Dr Pepper for lunch everyday except for stew days. It seems like they made some great cookies too, but my all-timers has that under covers for now. It’ll come to me.

Lunchroom Stew

  • Start by browning a couple pounds of beef stew chunks that’ve been liberally salt and peppered in a couple tablespoons of oil. I do this in the bottom of the stew pot so as not to dirty the entire kitchen.
  • Remove the meat from the pot and saute one large chopped onion and however much chopped garlic makes you happy.
  • Add the meat back into the pot with one large can of chopped tomatoes and enough water to fill your pot 2/3 full. Let that simmer a while. The longer it simmers, the more tender your stew meat will be.
  • A couple hours before serving throw in five or six peeled potatoes that have been chopped into bite-size pieces and two or three peeled carrots that have also been chopped into bite-size pieces.
  • Let simmer until carrots are tender and then add one cup or so of chopped green bell pepper and the same of chopped celery. Simmer until bell pepper and celery are tender and then serve.

We have on occasion been known to add green chilies to this recipe, but that isn’t really staying true to the whole lunchroom lady spirit.

Serve with cornbread or saltines or homemade bread. A good chunk of cheddar is great on the side and brownies make a nice ending. This stuff just gets better with time, so  look forward to leftovers!

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