Spicy Beef and Vegetable Stew

2 pounds lean chuck beef cut in 1 ½ inch cubes
2 TBS fat
1 tsp sugar
1 TBS flour
2 tsp salt
¼ black pepper or red pepper flakes
1 tsp Chili Powder (essential for this stew)
1 bay leaf
2 tsp Fuller’s Beaujolais Blend or oregano
4 cloves (whole spice cloves)
2 tomatoes peeled & chopped or a small can of diced tomatoes
1 sweet, red pepper, coarsely chopped
2 cups meat stock or consommé
2 cups boiling water
6 small red potatoes cut in half
6 small carrots, sliced 1 inch thick
6 small onions or two whole onions quartered & peeled
3-4 stalks celery, sliced
1 cup of fresh peas (can also use green beans)

Heat a large, heavy skillet with the oil. Brown the meat over medium high heat turning as needed; sprinkle with sugar and continue to brown. Then dust lightly with flour and continue to brown. Add the tomatoes, red pepper, herbs, bay leaf, cloves, beef stock and boiling water. Cover and simmer over low heat about 1 ½ to 2 hours or until meat is tender.

Add the vegetables except the peas or beans and combine. Continue to cook 30 minutes longer. Add peas; cook 10 minutes longer. Makes 6 servings. Serve with French bread or homemade buttermilk biscuits.