Coffee Beef Stew

While doubtful that a Civil War soldier ate this rich stew often, it is nice to think that the boys fighting far from home were able to possibly, occasionally, enjoy a rich and hearty stew such as this.  Coffee will add a depth of flavor and nuttiness to the gravy.

Coffee Beef Stew

2 to 3 lbs. beef (chuck)

3 Tbsp. fat

6 potatoes

6 medium onions

1 bunch carrots

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. sugar

5 cups boiling water

1 cup coffee

Cut beef in 1 inch cubes.  Dredge with flour seasoned with salt and pepper.  Brown all sides in hot fat in a heavy skillet.  In a good-sized kettle (pot), place vegetables, peeled and quartered, the meat, salt and pepper, sugar, water and coffee.  Cover and simmer over a low fire for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.  Thicken gravy with a mixture of 1/4 cup flour with 1/2 cup water.  Stir constantly when you add this to the hot kettle.

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