Monday, August 07, 2006

A Quick Dutch Oven Beef Stew

Last Tuesday, we escaped the constant driving wind of Oregon's Odell Lake and set out for a picnic at nearby Davis Lake. We camped at Davis Lake, which is located about 20 miles by road northeast of Odell, in 1990.

We remembered that the Davis Lake campgrounds and picnic areas were set in among the lodgepole pine forest between several tall volcanic peaks. To our advantage, the area was much warmer and calmer than Odell Lake.

Odell Lake is know for its "quite brisk" winds. The U.S. Forest Service webpage for Odell Creek Campground (where we camped) says "whitecaps occasionally form." This isn't quite accurate -- they form everyday, usually in the afternoon.

We found ourselves looking for activities away from the lake to escape the winds.

We never made it to Davis Lake for the picnic. Two factors impeded our decision to find a spot along Odell Creek: First, Forest Road 4660, the main access into Davis Lake from the south, was closed at the Odell Creek bridge. Contractors were strengthening the bridge.

And we discovered that the lodgepole pine forest centered around the lake was burned on June and July 2003. Although we were able to reach the lake once the construction workers went home at 5 p.m., the area wasn't conducive to a picnic.


Please don't let the adjective quick fool you. The stew won't be ready in 30 minutes or less. Instead, this meat dish is quickly assembled before letting it simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Unlike traditional beef stew recipes, the diced chuck won't brown as the moisture in the marinate impedes browning. The peppy steak sauce compensates for the missing flavor from the deleted step.

2 pounds chuck roast, 1-1/2-inch dice
1 cup A1 Steak Sauce Marinade
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14-ounce) can low-sodium beef broth
2 large carrots, 1/2-inch slice
2 medium potatoes, 1/2-inch dice

Place meat in 1-gallon zipper top bag and coat with marinade. Set in cooler for 30 minutes. Pre-heat 12-inch Dutch oven over medium heat. Sweat onions and garlic in oil until soft. Place meat in oven with broth. Stir and simmer approximately 1-1/2 hours, until meat is tender. Add carrots and potatoes and continue cook about 30 minutes, until done. Serve with toasted garlic bread, biscuits or cornbread.


  1. Hi Steve:
    I enjoy reading your recipes and you and your sons travel in Oregon.

    Is that corn bread in the # 5 Dutch oven?

    Thanks for all your help in promoting Dutch Oven Cooking in Northern California. Don

  2. Thanks for your kind comments, Don.

    My wife was there also. She just doesn't like for me to take her picture too often.

    No, that's canned corn in the #5 oven. I do need to do a cornbread recipe sometime.

    Too much to cook and too little time ...


  3. Gonna have to try this one this weekend.