When I think of ‘comfort food’ what comes to mind are images of earthy food. Food that’s still recognizable in its real form. Processed food just doesn’t make the cut for me. I also have subtle, yet noticeable, scents and aromas that I can really conjure up in my mind, like those distinct smells of a pot roast cooking.
That’s what this rustic family beef stew is. It’s a big pot of vegetables and beef that simmer for hours in a heavy large pot. Then everyone uses the big ladle and spoons out their bowls of healthiness! What better way to bring family together than with food!
- Preheat oven to 425 then reduce heat to 375 (Can also be done in a slow cooker.)
- 1 ½ to 2 lbs. beef, cut into bite size cubes (I used London Broil.)
- 3 Tbl. Canola oil
- ¼ cup shallots, diced
- 2 Tbl. Garlic, diced
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. coarse ground pepper
- 1 (32 oz.) beef broth
- 1 (12 oz.) organic cream of mushroom soup
- 1 (26 oz.) finely chopped tomatoes
- 2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning mixture
- ½ tsp. red chili flakes, dried
- 1 ½ cups pearl onions, whole, peeled
- 3 cups ‘peewee’ whole potatoes, small marble sizes or cut whole potatoes into small bites
- 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 1 ½ cups heirloom baby carrots, do not slice
- 2 Tbl. corn starch + 2 Tbl. Water, blended
- 1 cup celery + leaves, sliced
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves, roughly torn into pieces
- In a large stock pot over medium high heat, put the oil. Add the shallots and sauté about 3 minutes then add the garlic and cook another couple of minutes. Add the meat, salt and pepper and brown a few minutes then add all the broth. Cover tightly and put in the preheated 425 oven for one hour.
- Remove and add the chopped tomatoes, Italian seasoning, chili flakes, cover and cook another 30 minutes.
- Remove, add the onions, potatoes, mushrooms, carrots, blend, reduce heat to 375 and cook another 30 minutes. Take from the oven, stir in the corn starch/water mixture to slightly thicken the sauce.
- Add the celery, cover and leave it for about 15-20 minutes on the stove top. When ready to serve add in the fresh basil. (Reheat if needed.)