In my house, fall and winter cooking means lots of stews, soups and casseroles. Beef stew is one of my true favorites, and one that I can almost never order at a restaurant, because it almost always contains wheat, either as a thickener, or to dredge the meat for browning.

Photo: CC--tibbygirlBeef stew is a dish that goes well by itself, or which can be served over rice or gluten-free noodles for a heartier meal. Here is a recipe that will deliver a delicious gluten-free stew that will keep your hungry eaters coming back for more.

Ingredients:
2 pounds stew beef
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups water
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 gluten-free beef bouillon cube (I often use Celifibr's Vegetarian)
5 tablespoons Just Like Lipton's Gluten-Free Soup Mix (Recipe below)
3 whole cloves garlic, peeled
2 bay leaves
1 large onion, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
4-5 large carrots, sliced
3-4 potatoes, cubed
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Directions:
Heat oil in a large stew pot. Stir in meat and cook lightly until meat browns. Add water, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaves, onion, salt, sugar, pepper, paprika, soup mix, bouillon cube, and allspice.

Cover and simmer on low heat for 1½ hours. Remove bay leaves and garlic cloves.

Add potatoes, carrots and celery. Cover and cook another 30 to 40 minutes.

To thicken gravy, get a large bowl, and mix ¼ cup water and the cornstarch until smooth. Slowly whisk in 2 cups of liquid from the stew pot. Slowly stir mixture into the stew pot. Stir and cook until it reaches desired thickness.

Gluten-free Dry Onion Soup Mix

Ingredients:
1½ cups dried minced onion
⅔ cup beef bouillon powder (gluten-free)
2½ tablespoons onion powder
½ teaspoon crushed celery seed
½ teaspoon sugar

Directions:
Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container. About 5 tablespoons equals a single 1¼-ounce package of Lipton's mix.

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