Basic Beef Stew
This is a basic beef stew recipe. This is a good starting point for anything that you think you might want to do with stew. Substitute anything you want out of these ingredients, keeping in mind the cooking times of each and what flavors they bring to the pot. For instance, if you were to add chicken instead of beef, the chicken would go in near the end, since it doesn't take long to cook, and you don't want it overdone.
Heat the oil in a very large pot over medium heat. Season the beef liberally with salt and pepper. Toss the seasoned meat with the flour, and add to the hot oil. Brown the meat for 3-4 minutes. Remove from oil to a paper towel. Add the carrot, garlic, celery, and onion to the oil and fry for 5 minutes.
Return the meat to the pot and add any remaining flour. Continue cooking, and add the broth. Then add just enough water to just cover the meat and vegetables. Reduce heat to low and simmer for an hour.
Add the potatoes and mushrooms and cook until the potatoes are a little over done. This will help thicken the stew slightly. If the stew is still not thick enough, whisk together three or four tablespoons of flour in a cup of cold water then add it slowly to the pot. This should thicken the stew.
Taste the stew and season if necessary.