Classic Beef Stew
Water and flour makes excellent paste, but it's not for thickening food. The flour has to be cooked first if you don't want a pasty taste. The easiest way is to add it to the pot after the meat is browned and stir it well to brown lightly. That's called a roux, and is the classic way to thicken a gravy or sauce. Also, don't use bouillon cubes; they're nothing but salt with a little artificial flavoring. If you want to enhance the flavor, I strongly recommend the Minor's Beef Base. That's the secret of most professional kitchens. No self-respecting professional chef would even let bouillon cubes into his or her kitchen. The vegetables will have a much richer flavor if they are lightly browned before adding to the stew. This step is well worth the added effort. Otherwise, the recipe is okay.