This stew was first served at the annual meeting of the Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association (MOFFA) in Annapolis on January 10, 2004. The beef was grass-fed “stir fry” cut, sliced into ¼” pieces. Stew is a good way to use the less tender cuts like chuck or rump. At home you can use stew beef, take a chuck or round roast and cut it into ¾ to 1 ½-inch cubes, or slice into stir-fry strips. We made the stew heavy on the beef because my son is always complaining that we use too many vegetables. We have also included many optional “additions” which will add more vegetable variety. This recipe will serve four.
2 Tbsp olive oil or butter
1 medium onion, cut up in sections
1 large clove garlic
1 lb grass-fed beef (sliced ¼ ” thick in 1” x 2” pieces, or cubed into ¾ to 1 ½” pieces)
½ lb Nick’s grass-fed beef sausage, cut to ½” (opt.)
2 small potatoes in 3/4” cubes
1 small to medium sweet potato, cubed into 1” pieces (opt)
15 mushrooms, cut in slices
½ red sweet pepper, sliced lengthwise in 1/8” strips (opt.)
½ jalepeño pepper (opt.)
15 pearl onions, peeled (opt.)
3 medium carrots, chppped (opt.)
1 c peas, frozen or fresh (opt.)
1 8-oz can tomato sauce OR 1 14-oz can fire roasted organic diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
¼ c water or beef broth, if needed to thin stew
½ tsp oregano
¼ tsp ground hot red pepper flakes
¼ tsp curry powder, or to taste
¼ c red wine
1/8 c soy sauce
Salt and pepper (opt. and to taste)
All of these ingredients are somewhat to taste. In a pot large enough for the whole stew, start out by sautéing the chopped up onions and red peppers in the olive oil or butter, and then add the garlic and the meat. Brown the meat. Add the potatoes, mushrooms, sweet pepper, pearl onions* (see note below), diced tomatoes or tomato sauce, other vegetables, hot pepper flakes, bay leaves, water or broth, oregano and curry powder. Let simmer till vegetables are just soft. Add red wine and soy sauce. Stir and cook for about another 15 minutes and serve.
*Pearl onions are optional because we have already added the chopped up onion for flavor. We like to add these because the chopped up onions virtually disappear and the pearl onions look so nice. Also, they absorb the flavors nicely so they are nice to bite into. We have used frozen pearl onions because they are so much easier to prepare than fresh pearl onions. If you start from fresh onions, you have to boil them separately for a few minutes, run cold water over them to cool them so that you can handle them, then cut off the ends and squeeze them to pop them out of their skins.
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