Preheat the oven to 350° F.
On the bottom of a 3-quart casserole dish or heavy pot with a lid,
spread half the potatoes, onions and carrots. Season heavily with
salt and pepper. Top with 6 sprigs of fresh thyme or ¾ teaspoon of
dry thyme. Place the blade steaks or chops on top of the
vegetables. Top the meat with the remaining potatoes, onions and
carrots. Season well with more salt and pepper. Top with
remaining dry thyme.
Cover the stew with the beef broth and enough cold
water to barely cover the top layer of vegetables in the pot.
Place the lid on the pot and cook for 2½ hours until the meat and
potatoes are fork tender.
To serve, remove the meat, potatoes, and vegetables
from the pot. Discard the thyme stalks if using fresh thyme.
In a small bowl, blend 3 tablespoons of flour with
enough water to make a smooth paste. With a wire whisk, blend the
flour mixture into the hot broth. Stir well to dissolve the
mixture. Place the pot on the stove and bring to a boil.
Cook the sauce for 3 to 4 minutes until thickened. Season with
salt and pepper.
To serve, place the potatoes, vegetables and a piece of meat on plates
or in large bowls. Top with sauce and garnish with fresh chopped