by Greg Atkinson
In a large stew pot with a heavy base, cook oil and flour over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until flour is nicely browned. (If left unstirred for even a moment, the flour may burn; if it does, discard the roux and begin again.) When you have a smooth, evenly browned base with no black specks, stir in beef. Add onion, garlic, thyme, pepper, tomatoes, beef broth, and wine or coffee. Brin the liquid to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, and cook 1 hour, stirring from time to time to prevent sticking.
Add carrots, potatoes, and peas and cook 30 minutes longer, or until potatoes are tender. Taste and add salt as desired.
I often just use beef and 1 potatoe and leave out the carrots and peas.