I like tough meats baked low and slow in the oven, with plenty of gravy or juices. One of my favorite things done that way is this beef stew. The meat gets falling apart tender and the gravy and vegetables are to die for. This particular recipe came from a nurse I worked with years ago. I make it all the time now. Although the recipe calls for cubed beef, I have also made it with cubed pork shoulder or country style ribs and it is just as delicious. Enjoy!
Oven Beef Stew:
2 pounds of chuck cut into small cubes (cubed pork shoulder works well too)
1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
1 1/2 cups sliced celery
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
4-5 peeled cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
Place the vegetables in a large roaster and sprinkle 1/4 cup quick cooking tapioca on top. Then top with the meat.
1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. worchestershire sauce
2 tsp. dried basil or thyme
1 tbsp. crushed red pepper (optional, but I like a bit of fire)
1 cup red wine (or chicken broth or water or V8 juice or whatever you have)
Pour over the meat and vegetables. Add enough water/broth/juice to come at least half way up the side of the pan. Top with a large can of crushed or diced tomatoes...approximately 3 cups or so.
Bake at 350 degrees about 3 hours, stirring occasionally, adding more liquid if it looks dry or the gravy thickens too much. You can also cover it for the first hour or two if it looks as if the liquid is evaporating too quickly.
Serve with oven roasted potato wedges or mashed potatoes or even just a loaf of crusty bread.