Here is Aunt Nettie’s recipe for Old-Time Beef Stew. I find it quite amusing that she called this recipe Old-Time and it was written in a cookbook from 1953. That’s just one year after I was born. So, it is now a senior but not ready for retirement like me. This recipe must be at least 70 years old – not that I’m that OLD. It is one of the first recipes or pretty much any written anything from Miss Nettie where she had to correct something.
That is not typical of her. I also found it interesting that she wrote to put the garlic on a toothpick so you could remove it from the stew. That’s a new one for me. Here she is in the picture when she was teaching school.
Here’s a tip. Make sure your Dutch oven is very hot. Then add the oil. Test to make sure it is at searing temperature. Then and only then add the beef meat. The Dutch oven needs to be very hot to give the right amount of searing and to create the base for the rue. Rue (the bits in the bottom of the pan) will give your stew the pizzazz and flavor substance needed to take the stew to the next level. Do not move to the next step until you create the sear and the rue base.