In Pittsburgh, there are apparently many mysteries--just ask Michael Chabon about his marvelous book, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh--however, this simply made, hearty beef stew from Pittsburgh is not among them. If you have a mind to, check out The Odd, Mysterious & Fascinating History of Pittsburgh page on facebook (where my friend found this recipe), and here's a link to what some may consider a variation of this preparation that I made, the French Boeuf a la Bourguignonne from Julia Child's The French Chef Cookbook.
In the meantime, say hello to Pittsburgh's own television host Kay Neumann!
Kay Neumann's Beef Stew1 tablespoon shortening (we used canola oil)
1 1/2 pounds lean beef, cubed (about 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick)
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups water
1 small-medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 cup carrots, sliced (about 2 or 3)
1 1/2 cups potatoes, diced or cut (we diced about 3 medium potatoes in 1/2-inch cubes)
1/2 cup celery, sliced (about 1 stalk)
Place the flour in a deep bowl. Add the beef and toss to coat. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the beef and cook until beef is browned (stir almost constantly so the flour won’t clump). Add the water, chopped onions and remaining ingredients except the vegetables. Cover and cook over medium heat for 1 hour. Add the vegetables and cook another hour.
Note alternative: After the beef was browned, some people added all remaining ingredients, including the vegetables. Cook the stew, stirring occasionally on low to medium until the vegetables were soft, about 1 1/2 hours.