There is nothing more comforting on a cold winters day to go into the kitchen and start cooking a hearty beef stew and leave it simmering on the stove for everyone to enjoy the different aromas that comes from this great comfort food. What's great about stew is that even today, it's not all that expensive to fix with some beef chunks surrounded by chunks of vegetables and potatoes all cooked in one single pot. Dumplings also can be made quickly and easily and added as a finishing touch.
When preparing your stew make sure to cut the stew beef into small pieces about ½ inch square. Once you have done that you need to take about ½ a cup of flour and put that into a plastic bad and then add some seasoning salt to the flower. Take the beef cubes and add it to the flour and shake it until all of the meat is coated with your flour. After you have done that melt some butter or margarine in a large pot. Take the beef and empty it into the pot and brown it in the butter. Add some water and then cover the pot and make sure the heat is set on low. Let the meat simmer in the water for about an hour or until your meat is tender.
While the meat is simmering you can get the vegetables ready by chopping them up. Once the meat is tender you will want to add your vegetables. Cover your pot again and let the vegetables simmer until they are nice and tender.
If you are wanting to add some dumplings, just get some of your favorite baking mix and following the instructions on the box that it should have for dumplings. You can add an interesting flavor to your dumplings by adding a ½ cup of some grated cheese, 1 teaspoon of oregano or 1 tablespoon of minced horseradish to your dumplings before you cook them. When you are ready, just put the dumplings on top of the stew and cook until they are done.
As the liquid boils down, make sure to add more to your stew while you are cooking it. Don't worry about measuring it, just add enough water to keep the vegetables covered. If you want variety in your stew try adding different vegetables such as green beans, corn or parsnips. Onions and mushrooms are a good touch as well. Onions especially are going to give you a wonderful flavor mixed in with the beef. Make sure to be creative, you really can't destroy stew too easily.
Final Note: If you don't like dumplings then consider making biscuits or have some fresh bread to serve with you stew.