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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Beef and berry stew

WHAT kind of stew??  (I can hear some readers asking already)

Beef stew.  With blackberries.  Calm down, it's delicious.  And easy with only 5 ingredients.  And seasonal.  And a lesson in our nation's cultural heritage.  According to the Frugal Gourmet (from whom the original recipe comes), this is a Sioux recipe that would have been made with bison meat charred briefly over an open fire with wild berries picked at the height of summer. 

This is a great recipe for me as my blackberry plants only produce a handful of berries at a time toward the end of the season, where most blackberry recipes call for several cups.  If you use frozen berries and plan to make freezer kits, one 12 oz. bag will make 2 batches of this stew so go ahead and get double the beef and broth and make one batch for dinner and one batch into a freezer kit.

Stew beef is a more convenient choice than a slab o' buffalo IMHO. And cooking it in a crockpot instead on the stovetop is a far more convenient choice.

Beef and Berry Stew
Makes 4 servings

1 lb. stew beef
salt and pepper
1 tsp. oil
1 red onion, peeled and sliced
1 cup blackberries, fresh or frozen
2-3 cups beef stock or broth (or 1 15 oz. can broth plus 1 cup water)
1 tbsp honey (optional)

To make a freezer kit, freezer the package of beef with a freezer-bagged onion, and measured and bagged berries.  Label a box or can of broth for pantry storage.  I consider honey a pantry staple, so I don't worry about putting some aside specially for this recipe.

Season the beef to taste.  Brown the beef in the oil, 3-4 minutes per side, over medium-high heat.  Add onions, and cook briefly to wilt.  Transfer to a crockpot and add the berries, stock to cover and honey.  Cook on low 8-10 hours. Pin It

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