I’ve been trying in vain to recreate the hearty flavor of my grandmothers beef stew recipe and the answer was staring me in the face one day — Pero! If you’re unfamiliar with Pero you may know it under the name Postum as well. It’s an instant natural beverage that those of us who don’t drink coffee use. It’s a combination of barley, malted barley, chicory, and rye. Adding a bit of this gave the stew the hearty dark flavor I was looking for, I suppose instant coffee could be used as well.
This easy crock pot recipe is a wonderful comfort food that is perfect during the colder winter months.
With the saute feature of the crock-pot, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and add one chopped onion and ten minced garlic cloves and cook until soft. Next chop a bag of carrots (about half a pound) along with a four stalks of celery. Add in one pound of red bliss potatoes — cut up into fourths. Next is two bags of Gardein Beefless tips, a package of frozen peas (eight ounces), four cups of veggie broth, 1/2 cup of red wine, two tablespoons of flour and soy sauce each, and two teaspoons of Pero. Finish up with the following spices: one teaspoon each of dried thyme, parsley, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder. 1/4 teaspoon of ground allspice, a pinch of ground cloves, and two bay leaves with fresh ground salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and cook in the crock-pot for six hours on high or eight hours on low. Come home to a house full of wonderful smells — the aroma and taste made me miss my grandmother but I felt her there with me as we enjoyed this meal.
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