Why make a regular beef stew when you can make an Italian version with more flavor? It was a rainy day yesterday and there is almost nothing better on a rainy day then a hearty bowl of Italian Beef Stew. Yes, this recipe may seem like it has a hundred ingredients, but a lot of them are just herbs (most of which you probably already have on hand) and a bunch of fresh veggies. I decided to add mushrooms to this recipe as many Italian beef stew recipes call for them. I don’t cook with mushrooms very often because my husband will just sit there and pick them out and it is almost painful to watch him sit there and pick them out one by one, but every now and then I just have to have them and he just has to deal with it =). If you don’t like mushrooms, feel free to leave them out, there will still be plenty of other veggies. I think next time I make this I may just be a little lazier and toss it all in the slow cooker (skip the browning), then walk away and come back to dinner. I’m telling you though, this stew is completely delicious, amazingly filling and I think it’s fair to say it passes as a healthy meal your whole family will love. And the beef, it’s the best part. That slow and low cooking makes it unbelievably tender. I may or may not have spooned a lot of pieces of the beef out of the pot … after I had already finished my two bowlfuls of stew =). Enjoy!
Italian Beef Stew
Yield: About 7 servings
- 3 stalks celery , chopped into 1/2-inch thick pieces (1 1/2 cups)
- 1 large yellow onion , diced
- 4 cloves garlic , finely minced
- 5 Tbsp olive oil , divided
- 2 1/2 lbs beef shoulder , chuck roast or rump roast, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 3/4 tsp dried rosemary , crushed
- 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 oz cremini mushroom , sliced (optional)
- 4 medium carrots , chopped into 1/2-inch thick pieces (2 cups)
- 1 1/2 lbs Russet potatoes , peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces
- 3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- Parmesan or Romano cheese , for serving (optional)
Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large enameled cast iron pot over medium-high heat. Once hot add celery and onion and saute 4 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute longer. Pour mixture into a heat proof bowl and set aside.
Place beef in a large resealable bag, add flour and season with salt and pepper (about 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper). Seal bag and toss well to evenly coat beef in flour. Return pot to medium-high heat, add remaining 3 Tbsp olive oil. Once oil is hot add half of the beef and cook tossing occasionally until beef has browned, about 4 - 5 minutes. Transfer browned beef to a plate then add another 1 Tbsp oil to pot and add remaining half of the beef and brown. Slowly add 1 cup broth and then add red wine vinegar and beef on plate and cook, stirring frequently while scraping bottom of pan to loosen browned bits on bottom, until sauce has thickened. Add remaining 3 cups beef broth, diced tomatoes, oregano, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, bay leaves, mushrooms and sauteed veggie mixture. Bring mixture just to a boil, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low, cover pot and simmer 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes and carrots and cook about 1 1/2 longer until beef and veggies are very tender (I originally added the potatoes and carrots in at the beginning but decided they hold up better if added halfway through cooking).
Serve warm sprinkled with fresh basil and parsley and parmesan if desired.
Recipe Source: Cooking Classy