Winter Stew Recipe

The Queen is well aware that when it comes to the winter months, that her subjects enjoy nice warm meals to take away the chill in the air.  Therefore, she has ordered her cooks to provide you all with her favorite winter stew recipe.


-4 slices turkey bacon, coarsely chopped

-1 ½ cups finely chopped onion (2 medium)

-1 ½ cups diced carrots (2 medium)

-½ cup diced celery (1 stalk)

-3 cups reduced-sodium beef broth

-2 cups dry red wine, ie: Merlot or Zinfandel

-1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or ½ teaspoon dried leaves

-2 bay leaves

-2  2 ½-inch-long strips of orange zest

-3 ½ pounds of sliced shank, or cubed stewing beef, that is already trimmed

-½ cup chopped watercress or parsley

-Fresh ground pepper for seasoning

1)      Heat oil in a 4 to 5 quart Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add in bacon and cook, stirring often until the bacon is lightly browned, which should take about 3 to 5 minutes.  Into the Dutch oven put the carrots, celery, and onion and stir until they are all lightly browned and softened which should take about 8 to 10 minutes.  Add broth, wine, thyme, orange zest, and bay leaves and bring them to a boil.

2)      Rinse the beef under cool water then place into a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker set to high.  Add the mixture from step one into the cooker. Put the lid on the cooker and allow the beef to cook for 6 to 7 hours, or until the beef is very tender.

3)      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and using a slotted spoon, place the cooked beef into a bowl. Remove the bones.  If desired, scoop the marrow from the bones and add to the meat.  Use the spoon to break the meat into small bite-sized pieces.  Cover and keep warm.

4)      Remove orange zest and bay leaves from the sauce and skim out the fat.  Then pour the remainder of the sauce into a large skillet.  Bring the sauce to a boil over high heat, occasionally removing the foam for about 20 minutes.  Season with pepper.  Return the beef to the broth and heat through.

5)      Ladle the stew into bowls and sprinkle with watercress or parsley.

At winter Renaissance Faires or Medieval events, this delicious stew can be dished out by those wearing serving wench costumes.  The Queen hopes you enjoy!

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