Friday, October 14, 2016

Mr. Hedgehog's Stew

I found this recipe years ago in a magazine put out by Tops Supermarket.  I made it in my new house (about 18 years ago), insert pride here, for my parents.  We all loved it.  I have made it many times since.  I am pretty sure I like it best because of the name.  Who is Mr. Hedgehog anyway?  Does he live in the forest?

Just a little tip about wine.  When we have had wine around here and there is some leftover, it always seems to be in 1/4 cup increments, I freeze it. Red wine, white wine whatever.  I always end up using it.  I throw red wine in sauce often and I throw white wine in risotto when I make it.  It's so handy!

Mr. Hedgehog's Stew
Slightly adapted from Lifestyle magazine, 2001, Volume 4 Issue 11.  Just so you know, I make this with beer sometimes.  It is different but equally delicious.

½ pound bacon
1 large onion
2 ribs celery
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 pounds boneless beef, trimmed and cut into cubes 
½ cup flour 
2 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon black pepper 
4 cups beef stock or broth 
2 bay leaves 
tablespoon sugar 
½ C red wine 
1 teaspoon dried powdered thyme 
1/4 cup fresh parsley 
1 teaspoon dried dill 
½ teaspoon dry mustard powder 
1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 
cups carrots, peeled and cut into small cubes (or baby carrots) 
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed 
cups frozen peas 

Saute bacon in large frying pan until very crisp. Remove from pan, and set aside. Place 3 tablespoons of bacon grease into a 6 quart soup pot. Add chopped onion, celery and garlic. Saute until well cooked, but not browned. Add fried bacon pieces, and remove from heat. Place beef cubes, flour, salt and pepper in a paper or plastic bag, and shake well to coat the meat. Brown the beef cubes in batches in the frying pan with the bacon grease. If there is not enough drippings then add more oil. When the meat is browned well on all sides, add it to the soup pot. Add the remaining ingredients (except the vegetables) to the soup pot and stir often over medium heat to a simmer. Cover and cook 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add carrots and stir well. Simmer 15 minutes. Add potatoes and stir well cooking for another 15 minutes. Add peas, stir well and cook for 15 minutes. Remove bay leaves and season to taste with salt and pepper. 

If the soup does not have the thickness you desire you can either add instant potato flakes or make a slurry of flour (about 1/4 cup) and water.

Tip:  Making it the day before you want to serve it gives the flavors a chance to marry.

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