a kettle of boiling water
lard or cooking oil
a large, heavy pan, preferably cast iron, and deep
about a cup of flour, or more
salt/pepper in the flour
about 3 tablespoons of Worchestershire Sauce
1 1/2 lbs. of stew meat
3 large baking potatoes, peeled and cubed into bite-size pieces.
2 large carrots, chopped into bite-size pieces
a cup or so of frozen peas
First, blend the flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl (I use a pyrex). Put your meat pieces in there and stir until they're all well-coated. Heat your oil or lard on medium heat. You're not deep-frying, so you don't need a lot -- I'd say about 1/2 - 3/4 cup. If you need to add more as you cook the meat, that's fine. Brown the meat on one side, then turn them over.
After all the meat is browned (don't try to cook it through; it'll have plenty of time to cook later), remove it all (I brown mine in batches), and turn down the fire a bit. You should have some oil left over, maybe 1/4 of a cup. Add some of your leftover flour to this. You're making a roux. (I had pics of this part too, and they disappeared.) So you want about equal parts of oil and flour. It shouldn't be liquid, and it shouldn't be a stiff paste either. Allow the oil/flour to bubble and brown a bit, but don't let it burn. Stir constantly at this stage.
Now here's the fun part! Take your kettle of very hot water that's been simmering on the back burner. Pour the water carefully/slowly into the roux, while stirring. You'll get massive steam and any children in the room will go, "Wow, Mom!" But the water will settle down, and you'll keep stirring gently until all the roux is mixed into the water. You have just made a luscious gravy. Add the Worchestershire sauce at this point. I always use Lea & Perrins, because it is by far the best. Use more or less of it, according to your taste
Okay, put the meat chunks back into the gravy, put a lid almost covering it, turn down to LO, and allow the meat to simmer for 30 - 45 minutes.
Add the peas to the stew about 20 minutes before serving, just enough time for them to warm through, and for the stew to regain its temperature.