Davy Crockett Stew
Do you know all about Davy Crockett and his stew making capabilities? You don’t?? Well, time to be informed:
Born on a mountain top in Tennessee
Greenest state in the land of the free
Raised in the woods so he knew how to cook
Kilt him a b’ar ((and turned it into stew)) before he could read a book
Davy, Davy Crockett, cookin the wild frontier
Off through the woods he’s a-marchin’ along
Makin’ up stew an’ a-singin’ a song
Stirrin’ or’ a f’ar an’ feedn’ his foes
He carries him a pot where ere he goes
Davy, Davy Crockett, the stew makin’ buccaneer
See – Davy Crockett makes stew. Amid fighting off the enemy and the vicious wild animal, he makes yummy, hearty man-pleasing stew. At least that is the story I told my boys 5 or 6 years ago to convince them to eat this yummy meat and potatoes ((and carrots)) stew.
“Guys”, I said after the chorus of complaints that filled the kitchen when they learned what was for dinner, “This is the stew Davy Crockett made out in the woods after he kilt him a b’ar! He just added potatoes and carrots that he dug up in the forest.” “It’s Davy Crockett Stew!”
Their eyes widened – “Really, mom??” “This is Davy CROCKETT’s stew??” You mean (pause) this (pause) is (pause) (pause) BEAR MEAT??!!” they exclaimed with a burst of pure excitement.
“Yes – as a matter of fact, it is.” I said calmly.
They could not scramble to their seats fast enough, we prayed, they slurped AND asked for seconds.
Years later, we still call it Davy Crockett Stew, the ((real)) theme song is still sung every time this meal is served and we still tell Davy Crockett stories through the entire meal. Gracie has since joined in the fun, and although the boys long ago figured out we were in fact NOT eating bear, they still play along for their girl’s sake.
This stew is actually a simple brown gravy stew that mom used to make often when I was a kid.
I like to use chuck roast, specially prepared by the butcher according to my specifications ((2″ trimmed chunks)).
I coat my dutch oven in a few drizzles of oil ((I just use cooking oil)) and heat the pot over a medium flame. Once the oil is hot I add my flour and toss in the beef, making sure to coat the beef with the flour.
Brown the meat on all sides.
Now for the tricky part: finely chop one medium sweet onion and 6-7 stalks of celery.
I think the stew needs these essential background flavors, but if I don’t chop them up finely – I will have 4 people crying that they “see celery and onions” and how I “know they hate celery and onions”. hmm.
In order to avoid that annoying scene, I finely chop them and they literally melt into the stew over the cooking time.
I cut up potatoes and carrots into 2″ chunks and add them to the pot.
Layering rich flavors into this creamy brown gravy is slightly difficult given my kiddo’s keen eyesight and aversion to mysterious specks, anything green and if it’s slightly squishy – it is out. I would love to add a lovely mix of freshly chopped herbs – but that would make them cry. No herbs for me. Mushrooms – yum! Mushrooms would add a lovely earthy note to this stew – but they are squishy. No mushrooms for me. If you are not scrutinized in the kitchen like I am – feel free to add some of these yummy extras.
Good news though, I can still TOTALLY rock this soup without those add-ons & here is how:
- Organic ((or homemade)) chicken stock, 24 oz
- 1 T beef base + 24-32 oz water
- 2 T Dijon mustard
- 1 c heavy cream
- ((not pictured because I thought of it after I snapped this pic)) 8 oz of high quality Merlot
Add these essential items to your dutch oven, bring to a rolling boil, whisk in a few additional T of flour and cover. I chose to prepare this Davy Crockett Stew using the “No-Peek” method. OKAY, let me just pause and say – this was AHH-mazing. SO GOOD!! Yum!! I will use the “NO-PEEK” method for Davy Crockett Stew from now on.
If you are not familiar with the “No- Peek” method, please refer to my additional “No-Peek” recipes: No-Peek Oven Roasted Merlot & Sweet Italian Sausage Spaghetti Sauce and Turkey & Potato Chili Verde.
Look at this beautiful sight:
- 2-3 lbs chuck roast, trimmed of fat and cut into 2" chunks
- 2 T cooking oil
- 1/2 to 3/4 c flour (depending on how thick you like your stew)
- 5-6 celery stalks, washed and finely chopped
- 1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
- 1 24 oz carton of chicken stock ((or use homemade))
- 1 heaping T of beef base
- 2 T Dijon mustard
- 32 oz water
- 1 c heavy cream
- 8 oz Merlot ((good quality))
- 2 lbs washed, unpeeled Yukon Gold potatoes, either use small potatoes or cut into 2" chunks
- 5-6 medium carrots, unpeeled and cut into 2" chunks
- several good shakes of s & p or McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning blend*
- Preheat oven to 350°. Heat oil over medium flame in a large dutch oven. Once oil is heated, add roughly half of the flour & meat, toss to coat. Brown meat for approximately 10 minutes, stir to avoid burning.
- Once meat is browned, add celery & onion, cooking for 5 more minutes. Add the stock, beef base, mustard, water & wine. Stir and bring to a simmer. Add potatoes and carrots. Season*.
- Cover & place on bottom rack of the preheated oven. Let it cook for 4-5 hours. The longer it cooks the more tender the meat will become. ((However, don't cook much longer than 5.5 hours, the liquid begins evaporating too much at that point.))
- Remove from oven and serve.
- Serves 10
- *I recommend seasoning, bringing to a rolling boil & tasting before sticking in the oven. Make sure the liquid is slightly UNDER seasoned. You can adjust once the cooking is complete. As momma always says "you can always add but you can never take away."
- You can also try adding fresh herbs such as parsley, rosemary and thyme. Mushrooms would be an excellent addition too.