Let's face it: when you live in a seasonal-driven demographic that the weather requires its own motto of "wait five minutes", you know what is going to warm you up when Mother Nature is causing a frigid kerfuffle! This meal definitely gets rid of the bone-chilling cold temperatures and keeps you warm for quite a while!
On many northerly excursions, we come across many farm stands and farm properties that offer some incredible meats and fresh produce. It is such a great time meeting these folks and we always look forward to returning as well. I kept thinking it had been a while since we had a tomato-based stew and thought putting together an Italian beef stew would definitely hit the spot!
Serves about 4-6 people. This can be halved by the reader for a smaller batch.
1 lb Beef stew meat, diced (or 1 lb variety of cooked/rinsed beans) 32 fl oz Vegetable stock 28 fl oz Tomato sauce 8 oz Red wine (adjust to your liking) 8 oz White mushroom, sliced into chunks 8 oz Red potato, quartered 8 oz Carrots, sliced into chunks 8 oz Red Onion, sliced into chunks 8 oz Green beans, stems removed/trimmed, chopped 1/4 C Garlic, minced* 1/4 C Thyme, fresh (or approximately 4 tsp dried*) 1/4 C Basil, fresh (or approximately 4 tsp dried*) 1/4 C Oregano, fresh (or approximately 4 tsp dried*) 3 TB Kosher salt* 3 TB Black pepper* 3 TB Olive oil *adjust to your liking
You will need a deep sauce pan or a pot.
1.) In a large 12”-14” saucepan (or pot) on medium-high, add your olive oil, half of the kosher salt, black pepper, 1TB minced garlic, a pinch of your fresh herbs and your beef stew meat. You will be par-cooking this just until all sides of the beef have cooked. This will happen fast within the next 3-5 minutes. Remove the beef into a separate bowl. Leave the seasoned beef juice/olive in the pan.
2.) Into that same pan, add your vegetables, 2TB minced garlic and the remaining olive oil. You will be stirring this for approximately 5-7 minutes to par-cook. You will see the color of the red potato changing from white to a pale white color. You will start to see some subtle browning. Your pan will start developing a ‘fond’. Add your wine to deglaze the pan. Stir for another 2-3 minutes.
3.) Add your remaining garlic, kosher salt and black pepper and toss well. Toss for about 3-4 minutes. Add your vegetable stock and your tomato sauce into the same pan. Add the remaining herbs to the pan and stir together and allow to cook for approximately 6-10 minutes. The potato will help slightly thicken your stew base. Stir to ensure everything is mixed well together. Add your beef stew meat at the end to bring to temperature for another 3-5 minutes.
These measurements are a base-line. Add more if you prefer.
For a vegetarian/vegan option, use a variety of rinsed/cooked beans in place of the beef stew meat.
You do not need to use the red wine.
Serve this with a nice slice of crusty bread with butter. Garnish with more fresh herbs.