Old-Time Beef Stew Recipe courtesy Paula Deen
2 pounds stew beef
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups water
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 or 2 bay leaves
1 medium onion, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Dash ground allspice or ground cloves
3 large carrots, sliced
3 ribs celery, chopped
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Brown meat in hot oil. Add water, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaves, onion, salt, sugar, pepper, paprika, and allspice. Cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours. Remove bay leaves and garlic clove. Add carrots and celery.
Cover and cook 30 to 40 minutes longer.
To thicken gravy, remove 2 cups hot liquid.
Using a separate bowl, combine 1/4 cup water and cornstarch until smooth.
Mix with a little hot liquid and return mixture to pot. Stir and cook until bubbly.