This is my mom’s recipe. We ate it a lot when I was growing up, as the ingredients are fairly cheap (aside from the meat), it’s easy, and we all love it. It epitomizes Autumn for me. I’ve already made it twice in the last month, because I love it so much.
My favorite thing about this recipe is that it’s ridiculously easy. Just throw stuff in a pan, pour the ‘sauce’ over it, and let it sit in the oven for 3 ½ hours.
We always had this on Sundays, because our church service lasts 3 hours. Mom would throw it in the oven as we were leaving for church, and when we got home we’d be greeted with the smell of heavenly stew. Mom would have just enough time to throw a salad together and slice up some bread while we set the table. Mmm mmm mm!
This time around, instead of one large onion, I used a medium-sized leek and ½ of a medium onion. I needed to use up the leek, so it worked out fine. I didn’t notice a huge difference in taste.
The photos do not do it justice. I had a hard time getting good shots because the kitchen was pretty dark and the lighting isn’t that great. But believe me when I say that this is a yummy recipe!
Oven Baked Beef Stew
1 pound cubed stew meat or steak
4 potatoes, diced
6 carrots, diced
1 onion, chopped
1 cup catsup
2 cups water
3 tablespoons dry tapioca
2 tablespoons brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
Place meat and veggies in a 9x13 pan. Whisk together all remaining ingredients and pour over.
Bake at 325 degrees for 3 ½ hours or until veggies are cooked through. Add more water if needed.
The trick is to make sure all of your ingredients are pretty much equal in size/proportion. If you use baby carrots, cut up your potatoes, meat, and onion so they're around the same size. If you use regular carrots and want to cut them into larger hunks, just cut up everything else in similar-sized hunks. And, make sure you have equal-ish portions of everything. When you look at the pre-cooked ingredients, you should see equal amounts of potato, meat, carrot, and onion.