Recipe: Apple Cider Beef Stew

Beef stew is a favorite meal when the weather turns cool.  This sweet and tangy version is a nice change from the original.

Beef stew meat is a bit pricey, so in order to make this meal a little more frugal I check for markdowns throughout the year.  If I find a good deal, I bring it home and put it right in the freezer.  I also never buy a whole pound of meat.  Instead, I make a smaller amount stretch by cutting the meat into bite-sized pieces.

Apple Cider Beef Stew

Makes: about 4 servings

1 lb. beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tbs. flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
black pepper, to taste
1 tbs. oil
1 tsp. thyme
2 tbs. tomato paste
3 cups apple cider
1 onion, chopped
3 potatoes, cubed
3 carrots, sliced

1.   Combine the beef stew meat with the flour, 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper in a bowl; toss to coat evenly.

2.  Heat oil in a pot, add meat and brown on all sides.  Add apple cider and bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until meat is tender, about 1 hour.

3.  Add onion, potatoes, carrots, thyme, tomato paste and 1 tsp. salt. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.