I love stews, all kinds and all sorts. Beef being the most common of all. I have been searching for a good beef stew recipe, one that doesn’t require red wine, not that there’s anything wrong with red wine…dear me, no….but liquor’s expensive here and it’s too much to spend on just one dish. So when I came across this Beef al Pomodoro recipe from Kayotic Kitchen, I was so chaffed and inspired by it.
Kay’s my hero and she really inspires me a lot when it comes to cooking and photography, though I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know I exist. 🙂 Her recipe broke that dry spell of no-stews-because-of-red-wine thing. After viewing her post, I went out and immediately got the ingredients to finally make a beef stew, inspired by her recipe.
While shopping for ingredients, I was stumped by the beef stock cubes….the shops I frequent weren’t carrying them. I made a stop at Jaya Grocer and found this (below). This is suppose to be those healthy alternatives. It’s made entirely out of vegetables and frankly, smells like Bovrill. But no matter. I just needed some flavoured liquid. It’s going to be mostly tomatoes anyway.
You’ll notice I didn’t add any root veges in the stew. Well, I kinda feel that if I put it in, the root veges are always the ones left behind when the stew is finished. And adding root veges might suck up all the gravy, much to the disdain of hubster who has this soup-gravy obsession. But you can easily, easily add potatoes or carrots. I chose brown mushrooms and that was quite enough for me because the stew had a hefty flavour with the cherry tomatoes and paste. The original recipe also calls for sun-dried tomatoes but again, it’s not worth spending for a jar of this stuff for one dish. I roasted some cherry tomatoes and mixed it into the stew. It works just as well.
BEEF STEW RECIPE
Adapted and inspired from Beef al Pomodoro, Kayotic Kitchen
400 gm stewing steak, patted dry and cubed
1 big onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 green pepper, chopped
1 cup brown mushrooms, quartered
1 cup oven roasted cherry tomatoes
3 – 5 cups beef stock
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1. Dredge the cubed beef in a mixture of flour, salt and pepper. Shake off the excess. In a heavy pan or deep wok, heat some olive oil and butter together.
2. Sear the beef to brown on all sides. Do in batches.
3. Dish the seared beef aside. With the oil in the pan, add your chopped onions and sautee to get the brown bits out.
4. After the onions have turned translucent, add your garlic and chopped green pepper. Sautee till fragrant.
5. Bring back your seared beef and add your oven roasted cherry tomatoes. Add stock till covering ingredients. Then add the tomato paste.
6. The rest is just herbs and seasoning. Add your bay leaves, Italian seasoning, paprika, cayenne and few dashes of Worcestershire sauce.
7. Let the stew come to a boil, then turn down the heat to simmer and close with lid. Let it simmer for at least two hours till the beef is tender and soft when you press it with a fork. Give it a stir occasionally to prevent burning at the bottom.
8. Taste the gravy and season with salt and pepper. Just 10 mins before it’s done, add your quartered brown mushrooms and let it cook.
9. Eat with rice, bread, cous cous or if you have some leftovers, revamp them into pot pies! (below)