Let’s celebrate October! I love this month. I eagerly anticipate the turning of the leaves from summer’s nondescript green to autumn’s vibrant shades of crimson, yellow, and blaze orange.
The days get shorter and the nights get longer encouraging us to cocoon as we await winter’s arrival. We sleep deeply, aided by cool nights and brisk days filled with a flurry of activities. School is back in session, Halloween is almost upon us, and soon the first snows will arrive and the holiday season will be in full force.
With the shortening days and the crisp autumn air our appetites increase and we crave hot savory meals like this October Cider Stew which makes perfect use of the newly-pressed apple cider and plentiful beef or pork in the markets.
This easy stew recipe is from our new cookbook Easy Delicious Gluten-Free Soups, Stews, and Chowders . This electronic cookbook (e-book) is available on Amazon at the affordable price of $3.99. It can be read on the Kindle reader as well as most computers, phones, and other mobile devices by downloading the free Kindle Reader App.
For those who prefer print cookbooks instead of electronic cookbooks this recipe will be included in our forthcoming print cookbook Easy Delicious Gluten-Free One-Pot Meals which we hope to have available for purchase this winter.
October Cider Stew
Stewing meat in apple cider makes even the toughest cuts turn to ‘falling off the bone’ tender in less time because the cider contains citric acid that acts as a meat tenderizer. The apple cider and apple cider vinegar used in this recipe impart a sweet and tangy taste to this classic beef stew.
This recipe calls for beef stew meat but feel free to use boneless pork shoulder if it is plentiful, the result will be equally delicious.
1 1/2 lbs beef stew meat or boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1” cubes
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp thyme, dried
3 cups apple cider or apple juice (reserve 1 cup)
2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
3 medium potatoes, cut into 1” cubes
6 carrots, trimmed and cut into 1” lengths
1 large onion, sliced into crescents
1/4 cup cornstarch
Cookware and Utensils
6-quart stockpot with lid
Liquid measuring cup or small bowl (2-cup size or larger)
Cut the beef stew meat or boneless pork shoulder into 1-inch cubes.
Add the beef (or pork), salt, pepper, thyme, 2 cups of the apple cider, and the apple cider vinegar to the stockpot. Reserve the remaining cup of apple cider. Stir to combine. Cover the stockpot with the lid. Heat on medium high heat until the liquid begins to boil then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
While the meat is simmering scrub the potatoes and carrots under running water. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Trim the ends of the carrots and cut them into 1-inch lengths.
Slice the onion into crescents.
After the stew has simmered for 30 minutes measure the reserved cup of apple cider into the liquid measuring cup. Add the cornstarch to the reserved apple cider, stirring with a fork until the cornstarch is completely dissolved into the cider. Stir the stew and slowly pour the cornstarch and cider mixture into the stockpot. Stir continuously until the stew thickens to avoid clumping of the cornstarch.
Add the potatoes, carrots, and onions to the stockpot. Stir to combine. Cover the stockpot with the lid. Increase the heat to medium high until the stew boils then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
Simmer the stew, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables pierce easily with the tines of a fork.
When the vegetables are tender the stew is done. Serve the stew hot.