Thursday, February 10, 2011

Rich and Hearty Beef Stew

Even though we are entering into February, there are still some cool days ahead of us. If you are craving a filling, rich, and nutritious meal, cook up a pot of this stew. It goes down so easy, and will keep you warm and full even on the chilliest day.

Beef Stew

Rx: This meal is fortifying, to say the least! Packed full of veggies, a bowl of this stew will prove to be a delicious weapon against infection (garlic and onions), cancer (tomatoes), and vitamin B deficiency (lean red meat). While there is some fat in this dish (fat is flavor, right?) it is mostly contained in only six slices of bacon. While it would be an unwise health choice for one person to consume all six slices, adding it to this very large pot of stew disperses that fat, so that each serving contains an acceptable, not dangerous, amount while still benefiting from all the flavor. If you still aren’t comfortable with the idea of the bacon in there, then just leave it out.

Serves 8


1 ½ lbs extra lean stew meat
6 slices bacon, chopped (uncured, nitrite/nitrate free)
Olive oil
2 sweet onions, chopped
3 anaheim chilies, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
5 large red fingerling potatoes, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup red wine (cooking wine is ok)
¼ tsp paprika
1 tsp thyme (dried)
1 tbs Trader Joe’s 21 Season Salute
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
2 large bay leaves
1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes (I prefer roma)
2 cups good-quality beef stock

Warm bread to serve (cornbread would work well, too)


Heat a dutch oven over medium flame. Coat the bottom of the pan with about 1 tbs olive oil. Place stew meat in the pan and brown for about 5 minutes. Remove the meat and set aside on a platter or plate. Place the chopped bacon in the pan and cook until some of the fat has rendered and mixes with beef drippings. Cook the bacon about 4 minutes total. Add the red wine and deglaze the pan with a spoon. Now add the onion, carrots, and chilies. Cook these down for about 15 minutes, until they soften. Add the potatoes, garlic, meat, and all the spices. Mix things up a little, then pour in the tomatoes and the beef stock. Bring to a boil, cover with the lid and let it all simmer for about 1 ½ hours. Check for seasoning, add salt or pepper if needed, and serve with your favorite bread.

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