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Wohlfert Beef Stew

by Kathryn Boughton

With daylight dwindling and cold nights gathering around New England homes, thoughts turn to heartier fare. Perhaps nothing can be more comforting on a winter night than a bowl of hearty stew, a fact well-known to Frances Wohlfert of Canaan, who over the decades satisfied her family’s hunger with this savory beef stew.


2 lbs. stew beef
2 tbsps. flour
Salt and pepper
Oil to cover the bottom of a large kettle
2-3 medium onions quartered
1 tbsp. of Worcestershire Sauce
6 beef bouillon cubes
2-3 large carrots
2 stalks of celery, roughly chopped

Put flour, salt and pepper in a plastic bag. Add meat and shake until meat is coated.

Heat the oil in a large kettle and add the meat. Brown evenly, then add water to cover well, reduce the heat and cook slowly for two hours.

After one hour, add Worcestershire Sauce, bouillon cubes and onions.

After two hours, add carrots and celery; a half-hour later add the potatoes.

Twenty minutes before serving, add a dumpling mixture, dropping heaping tablespoons of the dough around the edge of the kettle and in the center.

Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, then cover and cook for another 10 minutes.


1 ½ cups flour
2 tsps. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
3 tbsps. Shortening
¾ cups milk

Measure flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.

Cut in shortening thoroughly until mixture looks like meal.

Stir in milk. (If using self-rising flour, omit baking powder.)