Traditionally, lamb shoulder chops or leftover bits of beef are used to make this peppery stew. In this recipe, flavorful lean beef is simmered with vegetables in an aromatic broth. The long cooking brings out all the subtle flavors of the meat and vegetables, while the Idaho Potatoes retain their texture and shape.
- 2 pounds Idaho Potatoes (4 medium potatoes) peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 3 cups onions, peeled, cut in half and thinly sliced
- 2 cups carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch lengths
- 12 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 1/2 teaspoons dry thyme
- salt to taste
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 2 pounds boneless blade steaks (6 lamb shoulder chops can be substituted)
- 12 ounces prepared beef broth
- 3 tablespoons flour
- fresh chopped parsley
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- On the bottom of a 3-quart casserole dish or heavy pot with a lid, spread half the potatoes, onions and carrots. Season heavily with salt and pepper. Top with 6 sprigs of fresh thyme or 3/4 teaspoon of dry thyme. Place the blade steaks or chops on top of the vegetables. Top the meat with the remaining potatoes, onions and carrots. Season well with more salt and pepper. Top with remaining dry thyme.
- Cover the stew with the beef broth and enough cold water to barely cover the top layer of vegetables in the pot. Place the lid on the pot and cook for 2 1/2 hours until the meat and potatoes are fork tender.
- To serve, remove the meat, potatoes, and vegetables from the pot. Discard the thyme stalks if using fresh thyme.
- In a small bowl, blend 3 tablespoons of flour with enough water to make a smooth paste. With a wire whisk, blend the flour mixture into the hot broth. Stir well to dissolve the mixture. Place the pot on the stove and bring to a boil. Cook the sauce for 3 to 4 minutes until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
- To serve, place the potatoes, vegetables and a piece of meat on plates or in large bowls. Top with sauce and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.