Monday, January 25, 2010

Hearty Beef Stew

Hearty and healthy. The sweet potatoes give this a sweet and savory taste that is delish!

2 lbs. of beef stew meat
2 small yellow onions
1 cup chopped celery
4 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 cup diced carrots
3 red potatoes (skin on)
1 sweet potato (peeled and diced)
1 cup peas
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp dried oregano
3 cups beef broth
3 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of sugar

In a large pot heat 2 Tbsp olive oil. Pat the stew meat dry and season generously with salt and pepper. (NOTE: I try to cut all of the stew meat pieces so that they are roughly the same size. This helps the meat cook more evenly but also sometimes I find that the store cut pieces are huge.) Brown the meat and remove from the pot.

Add remaining Tbsp of olive oil to the same pot that the meat was in. Add onion, garlic and celery. Sautee until tender (about 5-7 minutes). Return the beef to the pot and add the dried herbs and bay leaves.

Add the broth to the meat and veggies. Add the balsamic vinegar, tomato paste and the pinch of sugar. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes while the flavors meld.

Add the carrots and the red potatoes and simmer for another 20 minutes.

Add the sweet potato and peas and simmer for another 20 minutes.

Stir in the fresh parsley and serve.

If you have additional time, allowing time for extra simmering will only enhance the flavor of the stew (and give the house a yummy, homey smell!).

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