Spicy Camp Stew

Stew is just as American as apple pie and mom. With the cold weather upon us, our focus runs more and more towards these hearty dishes. In the last few months, we've created about twenty different versions of this American dish--stew being one of the specialities at the Loon River Cafe. To feed a hungry gang some Spicy Camp Stew, you'll need:

2 lbs.            beef stewing meat
2 lbs.            beef bones
2 quarts          water
2 cups            carrots, diced
2 cups            onions, diced
2 cups            celery, diced
1 TB              ground caraway
1 tsp.            pepper
2 ea.             bay leaves
2 TB              jalapeno peppers, chopped fine
4 cups            cooked potatoes, diced
2 TB              beef base
1 cup             oil
1 1/2 cups        flour
1 1/2 cups        barbecue sauce

Throw the bones and the meat in a stewing pot and brown the meat. Then add water, carrots, onions, celery and spices, including the jalapeno peppers. Simmer 2 hours, then remove the bones. Add your beef base. If it tastes a bit salty to you, add more water. Thicken your stew with a roux (mix together 1 cup of oil and 1 1/2 cups flour) then add your potatoes. Simmer 15-20 minutes. Very often, when people thicken their stew like this they don't let it cook long enough and this causes the "floury taste".

To finish it, add the secret ingredient--1 1/2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce. Serve with homemade cornbread and a couple of Youper beers. And as always, a creative cook is a good cook.