I made several changes for this recipe. I didn't include 2 cups of boiling water or dry onion soup mix. Neither did I use 1/4 cup of warm water. I subsituted 8 small Yukon Gold potatoes for 4 large cubed potatoes. I added, thyme, crushed red pepper, 28 oz. beef broth, salt, basil (dried), 2 bay leaves, 1 1/2 cups Merlot wine, 5 crushed garlic cloves and 2 celery ribs and worchestershire sauce. I also used 2 lbs ox-tail instead of 3 lbs of beef stew meat.
I failed to use the drippings from browning the ox-tails in a skillet. I also didn't thicken the stew with flour. What resulted was a flavorful ox-tail stew with a tad bit of spicyness. A thoroughly delicious stew and not bland whatsoever !!
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I made several changes for this recipe. I didn't include 2 cups of boiling water or dry onion...