It’s funny how things change as you get older . . . As a child and a teen, I used to jump with joy at the prospect of snow. There was so much fun from the falling flakes – snow days, sledding, snowball fights … But when I got up this morning and saw my trees white with a thick coat of snow, my first reaction wasn’t so positive. In fact, it came in the form of a disappointed groan. Not only did I have a day of shoveling to look forward to, but it also canceled my lunch plans. A good friend was coming to visit today . . . alas, that will have to wait a few weeks.
The positive? Shoveling didn’t take as long as I thought it would.
Anyway, what better day than a snow day to share an easy recipe for a low-fat and tasty stew. Now, this one does take a while to simmer, but it’s well worth the wait. The potatoes break down a lot in the slow simmer, releasing their starches to create a thick and comforting base. And the barbecue flavor is awesome. I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Barbecue sauce and it was fantastic. But any bottled sauce (or homemade, if you do that sort of thing) would work . . .
Eat this with a slice of thick, warm, fresh bread and a simple salad.
Barbecue Beef and Potato Stew
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 – 1 lb stew beef, in one inch chunks
1 clove garlic, minced
3 small red potatoes (about 2-2 1/2 in diameter), diced into 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup water
1/3 cup barbecue sauce
In a small dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the beef and brown on all sides. Stir in garlic, potatoes, salt and pepper and mix well. Add water and barbecue sauce and mix well.
Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 2 hours. (Hint: use a small burner so if condensation drips from your lid, like it did from mine, it won’t land on a hot burner and make an annoying racket — and a more annoying mess to clean off the stove).