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.)