This recipe of mine is guaranteed to make the least expensive cut of beef tender and juicy. It is all in the braising. It is a great winter stew that stays hot for some time while you eat it and warms you up inside on the bitterest of cold days. It is a 'stick to your ribs, comfort meal'. This is a large recipe so there will be plenty to put away in the freezer for other meals. When you freeze this, freeze just the stock of it, not after you put the main veggies in. Potatoes do not freeze well. They can become mushy. When I make it I make up the stock of it (this does include the onions and celery then when finished cooking I take enough out for that nights meal and put fresh veggies in that portion. The remaining stock then gets put in individual meal packets and put in the freezer. *NOTE* I purchase an inexpensive cut of beef for this and cut it into cubes, bite size pieces. You are not only getting a better cut of beef this way then buying stewing beef but stewing beef is usually the parts of beef that are normally discarded and are tougher and fattier. I also suggest that when you get this roast home from the store you cube it then just stick it in a freezer bag until you need it for the stew. Take it out and thaw it or pop it in the microwave to thaw for use.

Ingredients for stock .....

stew/stock pot.... a very large pot
1 & 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
2 teaspoons of celery salt
1 teaspoon of celery pepper (if you can get it)
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
3-4 lbs of beef cut into bite size chunks
6 onions - chopped
4 stalks of celery - chopped thin
1/2 cup of barley - rinse in a strainer under cold water before using to get the "dust" off it (this swells you don't need too much)
some fresh minced garlic or garlic flakes
14 cups of water - 2 cold and 12 boiling
7 packets of beef bovril (oxo cubes will work)
2 tablespoons of worcestershire sauce
a bit of parsley
- veggies for meal later
some more celery if you like

- heat a bit of oil in your stock pot

in the meantime cut your onions and celery and measure out your other ingredients so you can just toss them in as needed. You'll be thankful you did it as it will make it faster and easier later. Also start your kettle on to boil. Have your cubed meat ready.

- Mix the flour, celery salt, celery pepper and black pepper in a large bowl. Not a cereal bowl.

- Roll the cubes of meat in the flour mixture and transfer them to the hot oil in the stock pot. Brown the pieces of meat on all sides. You will only be able to do so much at once. When the first lot is done, take it out and put it aside and toss in the next lot of cubed meat. You may have to put a bit more oil in the pot. This is going to take a bit of time but well worth it in the end. Don't worry about the oil, you'll get rid of some of it later.

- When all the meat is browned & removed from the pot put the onions and celery in the empty pot and stir over low heat for 5 minutes until they soften a bit. You can throw the garlic in as well but be sure you watch it so it doesn't burn.

- Next, add 2 cups of cold water into the pot where the veggies are and stir to mix. Then add any remaining flour you have. Stir to mix again. Yes, it will look white and pasty.

- add 12 cups of boiled water

- add the remaining ingredients including the meat.

- bring this to a boil, reduce to warm, cover and simmer it until the meat is nearly tender, about 1 hr. Maybe a bit more. Not much longer though or the meat will fall apart when you reheat it for another meal.

- cool the stew

- divide it into portions for the freezer but leave enough out for that nights dinner. Put that nights servings in a seperate pot and add some fresh veggies of your choice and cook in the stew until they are tender.

To use for a future meal, thaw and add fresh vegetables of your choice. Cook only until the veggies are tender enough. Over cooking will make the meat fall apart it is so tender.

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