Today is April 27, 2009. It’s almost May.
I took this photo at 6:45 AM this morning after finishing my early morning yoga class. This scene is about a block from the yoga studio and on a clear day, the Flatiron Mountains near Boulder are visible off in the distance. No such luck this morning as the low hanging clouds and snowfall obstructed the view. With no color variation from sky to ground, everything disappeared into a blanket of grey. It was beautiful, even though snow hasn’t been on my wish-list lately.
In lieu of working on my garden preparation (which I’ve been anxious to do), I think I’ll make a nice beef stew instead. Hopefully this is my last “hearty” meal of the season. After all, aren’t we transitioning to spring greens and fresh asparagus (information and recipe on asparagus here)? If it’s nice where you live and you’re about to make yourself a grapefruit salad and some sun tea, you can save this one for next fall.
Hearty beef stew
what you need
• 1 pound natural 100% grass-fed beef, cut in 1-inch pieces
• 3 to 4 tablespoons coconut oil (or whatever oil you saute with)
• 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
• 4 medium sized carrots, chopped
• 4 stalks celery, chopped (including leaves)
• 1 small onion, diced
• 4 red potatoes
• 1 or 2 fresh tomatoes (or 1 can diced tomatoes)
• 1 32 ounce container “Imagine” GF organic beef broth or home-made broth
• 5 or 6 mushrooms, chopped
• 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
• 1 can pinto beans
• herb choices: parsley, thyme, marjoram, bay leaf
what you do
1. Wash and boil red potatoes until almost done, drain and set aside (reserve one to thicken stew). You can also wash, chop and add them uncooked to the stew, but I like having a pre-cooked potato available to use as a thickener.
2. Heat oil in heavy skillet over medium/high heat. Add beef and sauté until brown on all sides. Salt and pepper to taste and put in crock pot or slow cooker. Add onions and garlic to skillet (and a touch more oil if needed), sauté and add to slow cooker.
3. Add beef broth to slow cooker.
4. Add garlic, onions, carrots, mushrooms, celery, potatoes, jalapeno, beans, tomatoes (reserve a small tomato or half the can to thicken stew).
5. Pour 1 or 2 cups of water into the skillet you used to sauté the meat, onion and garlic (the skillet is turned off but still on the burner). Whisk water and pan drippings to create a thin gravy-like mix.
6. Pour cooled pan drippings into a blender; add reserved cooked and chopped potato and the reserved chopped tomato or canned tomato. Process in blender until it’s a thick, creamy consistency (this is such a good way to thicken soups and stews without using flour; use a blended potato mix instead).
7. Pour into crock pot, stir well and cook on low for several hours or all day, stirring occasionally. Taste periodically and add things (sea salt, ground pepper, herbs).
* This is usually better the next day after it has “settled” overnight in the refrigerator and the flavors have blended and infused.
Research indicates that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation. Organic, 100% grass-fed beef is higher in omega 3s than regular beef. Raw is normally better than canned, but canned tomatoes actually provide more absorbable lycopene than raw, so don’t hesitate to use organic canned tomatoes in stews and soups. Canned beans retain their fiber and anti-cancer flavonoids. I did a complete nutritional breakdown of this stew and found it to be very high in vitamins A, C, K, and B-12. It’s also high in iron, phosphorus, zinc and selenium. Normally, it makes for a nice transition into the heartier and more savory fall and winter foods, but even though it’s almost May, I’m craving some today.
I think I’ll build a fire while I cook.
Tags: beef stew