Hearty beef stew, little effort


Helen Dahlquist from Salem, Ore., was looking for an easy recipe for oven stew. Both Karen Bain of Silverton, Ore., and B.J. Martin of Keiser, Ore., sent in a recipe for "Stay-a-bed Stew" from the I Hate to Cook Book, by Peg Bracken.

As the author says in her notes, this recipe is for "those days when you're en negligee, en bed, with a murder story and a box of bonbons, or possibly a good case of flu."

This is a truly simple, yet delicious, recipe for beef stew. And unlike many beef-stew recipes, it is not necessary to brown the beef first.

As instructed, I simply put all the ingredients - except the peas, which I added in the last 1/2 hour of cooking - in a casserole with a tight-fitting lid and let it bake undisturbed in a low oven for 5 hours.

In all, it took less than 10 minutes of prep time and the result was a hearty bowl of genuine comfort food. And, as with most stews, I found it tasted even better the second day.

Recipe requests

Nancy Kilpatrick from Pinehurst, N.C., is looking for a recipe for a dessert peach pizza.

Barbara Kent from Johnstown, Pa., would like to have a good recipe for peanut butter melt-aways.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Julie Rothman, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278. Names must accompany recipes to be published.

Stay-a-bed Stew

Serves 6

2 pounds beef-stew meat, cubed

1 cup of sliced carrots

2 chopped onions

1 teaspoon salt, dash of pepper

1 can cream of tomato soup, thinned with 1/2 can of water (can substitute celery or mushroom soup thinned the same way)

1 big raw potato, cubed

1 bay leaf (optional)

1 cup of petite peas, frozen or canned

Mix all the ingredients, except the peas, in an oven-proof casserole that has tight-fitting lid. Cover and cook in a preheated 275-degree oven for 4 1/2 hours. Add peas and cook 1/2 hour longer. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Per serving: 404 calories; 30 grams protein; 20 grams fat; 8 grams saturated fat; 26 grams carbohydrate; 5 grams fiber; 95 milligrams cholesterol; 608 milligrams sodium

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