This is very easy to make especially if you have most of the ingredients already in your house. Several days ago I had purchased two top round steaks for London Broil, with the intent to marinate and grill them at my daughter's, on Veterans Day.

The quick drop below freezing put a damper on that idea. I wanted to try something different with the approximately four pounds of beef. Beef stew is the one thing my mother makes and it always tastes good.

However, this version is a combination of how my Mom makes it and some random food blogger who had a recipe for beef stew using lite beer and a "crackpot". She includes humorous comments, photographs of her kids, and a story about The National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

I had no beer at all, briefly thought of borrowing one from a neighbor, felt odd about that, so made a quick run to the local liquor store, where I purchased a six-pack of Yuengling Black and Tan. Just to make conversation, I told the guys in the store what I was making when an old Fleetwood Mac song suddenly was playing, making us all feel old and nostalgic.

You can go your own way!
Go your own way
You can call it another lonely day
Another lonely day...

Cut the beef into bite-size squares. Brown over a medium flame, tossing in:

chopped fresh garlic (I no longer mince... anything)

one or two small onions, chopped

baby carrots, cut in half

4 russet or golden potatoes, cut into chunks

2 bottles of dark beer (food blogger uses 1 lite beer per pound of meat, so I probably should add more)

2 T. Worchestershire sauce (didn't have, so used steak sauce which contained it)

and/or 1 T. soy sauce

crumbled thyme and rosemary (didn't have thyme, so I doubled the rosemary)

salt and black pepper, to taste

My mother cooks her beef stew on the stove in a large pot, allowing about 3 hours.(She flours the meat, uses a different cut of beef, and adds no beer or seasonings.)

Food blogger cooks it for 7 hours in her "crackpot," then takes her kids to the park. I was given a crockpot with a recipe book last year for Christmas but have never used it. So, my version is stove top as well.

Oh, almost forgot...add one chopped yam!! This is apparently the secret to food blogger's recipe.

My version has been cooking for 2 hours. The broth smells wonderful and tastes quite good already.

The scent must have wafted to the back of the house because suddenly both of my sons are in the kitchen, asking when dinner is going to be done. I tell them when the yam is ready.

***This is a rather monochromatic stew, which I would ordinarily add more to make it color balanced. (Even just a few handfuls of frozen peas, green beans, corn, or red and green pepper. I also love barley in soup, but I'm trying to follow the recipe.) What I will do is make corn muffins and a simple green salad with red cabbage, raisins, sunflower seeds and a few slivers of Vidalia onion.

***Very favorable reactions. This is a very hearty stew, no need or room for the salad. After the stew sat and thickened, I added more beer and some V-8, which I neglected to say I added about a cup as it cooked.

***To be honest, I was fearful the meat would be tough and it definitely was not. To be totally honest, I chose this recipe to play with, instead of cleaning my old oven and setting off smoke alarms with its 1930's unpredictable heat.

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