chunky beef stew

Dan and I just got back from a little getaway to the Olympic National Park the past couple days.  We spent a couple nights at the Lake Quinault Lodge and drove up to the Hoh Rainforest and the Washington coast beaches.  It was so beautiful.  The day we showed up it was absolutely pouring rain, and it was supposed to continue all week, but we woke up the next day and it was sunny!  So we got to spend the day walking around with out being drenched in rain.  We took a bunch of photos, but those will have to wait.  

Today I'm here with a recipe that would've been a perfect rainforest meal, to warm up your core after spending a day out in the rain.  I love stew.  It's so hearty and filling, and is perfect to reheat later on.  A big pot of stew can feed me all week!

(recipe via Season with Spice)
Serves 3-4

1 lb of beef stew cubes
6 carrots
5 stalks of celery
1 large white onion
3 cloves garlic - minced
1 bay leaf
2 cloves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
3 cups of water
4 potatoes - cut into large chunks
3 tbsp flour

1. Cook up your beef cubes in a frying pan until browned, then transfer both the beef and juice to a large pot (or slow cooker, which is what I used).
2. Cut carrots, celery, and onions into chunks. Add to pot (or slow cooker), along with garlic, bay leaf, cloves, salt, black pepper, and 3 cups of water.
3. Cover, and simmer on low fire for 3-4 hours.
4. Add potatoes to the pot. Simmer for one more hour, or until potatoes are softened.
5. Scoop out a bit of the broth into a small bowl. Mix in 3 tablespoons of flour. Then pour the mix back into the pot and stir well. Remove cover and cook on medium fire for another 20 minutes to slightly thicken the broth. Add in more salt and pepper if needed.
6. Serve hot by itself, or get some nice crusty bread to soak up all the goodness (I used a bit of cheddar bread, so good!)