Beef Stew

Talk of joy: there may be things better than beef stew and baked potatoes and home-made bread - there may be (David Grayson, Adventures in Contentment).
Easy beef stew, -nice any day
INGREDIENTS - (Approx. 6 servings).
2 1/2 lb, beef shoulder roast
2 small carrots, sliced thick
2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
4 juniper berries*, whole
1 1/2 cup water
pinch of rosemary (fresh, or dry)
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp, plain flour
1 cup, sliced mushrooms (fresh, or 1/2 cup dehydrated mushrooms)
salt, and pepper to taste

METHOD
(1) To seal it, briefly brown both sides of beef in a frying pan (preheated to medium hot).
(2) Place carrots, celery, onion, garlic, juniper berries, rosemary, bay leaf, and 1 cup of water in a crock pot.
(3) Place browned meat on top, cover with lid. Set temperature to medium/auto, and leave to cook for an hour.
(4) Mix flour with remaining 1/2 of water. Pour mixture to the crock pot, and stir it in gently. Add mushrooms, season all with salt, and pepper, cover, and leave cooking for another hour (till meat is nice, and tender).
Serve with boiled potatoes, and a glass of Burgundy, or other medium, red wine.
Additional notes.
At the last moment, just before serving, some like to add a small piece of dark chocolate to the juices, to bind the taste better.
*please note, not all juniper berries are the same, -some are not edible. Best, acquire your juniper berries from reputable source, such as food stores.
(Originally published in Examiner)
Bon Appetit!
Other Notes
(1) If you are not familiar with cups, assume an empty, 15 ½ oz. size can to have 2 cups capacity (1 cup =8oz. =227g.),
tsp. = teaspoon,
tbsp. = tablespoon,
1lb = 453 grams
See, additional conversion help, below:
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References
Special Thanks
Special Thanks to Town & Country Gardens Contributors: blogger, bulabean, dive-angel (Karin), flickr, Jasmine&Roses, Rita Crane Photography. Rita Crane, daughter of LIFE magazine photographer Ralph Crane. Her work can be seen on Flickr at Rita Crane Photography or on her website., TMR Davies, W.D. Williams

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