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Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v16n16)
Life of the Party - Long Day Beef Stew - by Elizabeth Morse
posted: Aug. 09, 2019

Life of the Party header

So one of my readers is due an apology! Months ago I promised, at her request, to include more casseroles in this column AND to email her several of my favorites. I failed. I lost her email address and even after scouring my sent mail and trash files, I came up empty-handed. Faithful reader, today's issue is just for you.
Since many of us are in the throes of getting kids back to school and into new fall routines, I'm offering you three easy and delicious meals that you can prep in advance and enjoy at the end of your long day. One slow-cooked stew and two casseroles. Simple to prepare, delicious and cost-effective. Enjoy them all!

Long Day Beef Stew
(Serves 4)

1 pound beef stew meat, cubed
1/3 c flour
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup olive oil
1 cup dry red wine (I like Cabernet or Pinot Noir)
4 cups of water or beef broth
1 large onion, chopped
3 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
6 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 bay leaves
1 t celery salt
1 t salt

Combine beef with flour, salt, celery salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss to coat.
In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and brown beef.
Add wine, taking a minute to scrape the pan to loosen the yummy browned pieces of beef. Add broth or water, and bring to a boil.
Add bay leaves, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours.
Add onions, carrots and simmer for 15 minutes. Add potatoes and continue simmering for 25 more minutes.
Serve hot with crusty bread for dipping.

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole
(Serves 6)

4 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1 chopped yellow onion
6 cups of wild rice, cooked
8-10 ounces of canned mushrooms, drained
1 small package of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
½ red bell pepper, seeded and minced
¼ cup butter
¼ cup flour
1 t thyme
1/3 cup slivered almonds
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream (or half-and-half)
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large sauce pan, sauté onions and thyme in butter until the onions are translucent. Add flour and continue stirring over medium heat for 2 minutes. Slowly stir in broth and bring to a boil.
Boil (continuing to stir) for 2 more minutes. Stir in cream.
Add remaining ingredients, except almonds. Stir to combine and heat through. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
Transfer to a 9 by 13 baking dish (buttered) and top with slivered almonds. Bake at 350° for half an hour.
I serve this with a crisp, green salad dressed with oil and vinegar.

Baked Bean Casserole (Vegetarian)

2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup marinara sauce
1 cup barbecue sauce ( I like Sweet Baby Ray's )
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 t garlic powder
½ t crushed red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.
Pour into a medium-sized casserole and bake at 375° for one hour.
This is a hearty, meat-free option and is perfect served over cornbread.

Elizabeth Morse, owned the Corner Wine Bar in Broad Ripple for close to 20 years. She is a graduate of IU, Hoosier Chef, Food Writer, Wine Guru & Advanced Master Gardener who believes in supporting all things local. Check out her blog: Email her at
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