Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Northwest Cherry Dutch Oven Stew

Each year our church does a Father and Sons camp out where we get to spend some time with just the boys. We typically cook our own dinner but it kind of ends up being a potluck where everyone shares whatever they brought. Of course there are the usual hotdogs and such but the last few years we've tried to do a few different things with our dutch oven. Last year my Father in Law was in town from Seattle and they suggested this Northwest Cherry Stew recipe that they had done a few times. We tried it out and and it was a huge hit with everyone.

My in-laws were in town again this year when our camp out was scheduled so we thought we'd give the stew another go and make it our traditional meal. Unfortunately, the camp out was postponed due to a lightning storm, so we ended up making the stew at home for the whole family. This stew is such a fun combination of ingredients that come together to create a rustic flavorful stew that fits perfectly around a campfire in the summer. If you choose to do it while camping, you can brown the meat and prepare all the other ingredients in advance and then just throw it all together in the dutch over the coals a few hours before you want to serve it.

Northwest Cherry Stew

2 ½ lbs. stew meat (cut into 1 inch cubes)

6 Tbs flour
2 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp black pepper

4 Tbs vegetable oil
3 C onion – thinly sliced
2 C dried sour cherries, pitted
1 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
2 Tbs water
1 C  apple juice
1 C beef stock
½ lb mushrooms

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine: flour, salt, allspice, cinnamon, and black pepper in plastic bag.
Add beef to bag, shake coating pieces evenly.
Heat 1 Tb. oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
Add 1/3 of the beef and cook until browned on all sides, stirring frequently.
Transfer meat to a heavy, medium dutch oven.
Repeat with remaining beef in two batches, adding 1 Tbs. of oil each batch.
Transfer meat to dutch oven each time.
Reduce heat to medium – add the last Tbs. of oil, onions, and any leftover flour
mixture. Cook until onions are brown.

Mix in sugar, vinegar and water.
Transfer to dutch oven. Be sure to get any brown scrapings from the meat.
Mix in juice, stock and mushrooms

Cover and bake until beef is tender 1½ to 2 hrs.

Serve over egg noodles or rice.

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