As Daniel and I sat down tonight for dinner it occurred to us that this was the first meal we have shared together (just the two of us) for a while. It was nice making the rounds for Thanksgiving and Christmas to see family but the time travelling, working and shopping can be exhausting. Add to that the burglar attempt just before Christmas by the “grinch with a gun” and the stress adds up. Sitting down tonight really made me feel like I was home. This is my home; an old farm-house, on a chilly night, with the aroma of a rich and hearty stew spreading from the warm kitchen. Just Daniel, the dogs and me. This meal will definitely get your family, however many people (or pets) that may be, to the table for some much needed family time.
- 3 pounds beef chuck (stew beef)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 TBS olive oil
- 4 oz pancetta or smoked bacon cut into pieces
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- 2-4 carrots washed and diced
- 2 TBS flour (or almond flour)
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 3 cups chicken stock or broth
- 1can white beans (I used cannelloni, the book also suggests navy) – omit this to keep paleo friendly
- 6 large, canned plum tomatoes, chopped plus 1/3 cup of their juice
- 1 lb chopped collard greens (or other green of your choosing)
Start by getting out the largest pot you have that is oven safe. Next you’ll need to brown your meat. Heat up 2 TBS of the oil on the stove and add the meat. If your pot has a large enough bottom for all the meat to be spread in a mostly single layer then put it all in at once for about 10 – 15 minutes, turning as you go to get all the sides browned. If your pot is not large enough for a single layer then halve the oil and brown it in two batches. With a slotted spoon, set aside in a bowl.
Pre-heat your oven to 300°F. Make sure your rack is at the right height to hold your pot! Chop your onion, garlic and carrots and have that ready. Put the last TBS of oil in the pot (you’ve discarded the leftover juice or put it aside to top off your dog’s dinner) and heat that up and add the bacon/pancetta. Cook for two minutes on medium heat then add your vegetables. Continue to cook, stirring, for 8 – 10 minutes. Stir in the 2 TBS flour then add the wine. When the flour is well mixed, add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Scrape up any stuck-on brown bits.
Add the meat and whatever juice has come off the meat since sitting back to the pot. Throw in the tomatoes, taste and adjust the seasoning as needed and bring back to a boil. Once boiling, cover and bake for 2 hours.
About 20 minutes before the stew is done, bring 3 – 4 cups of water to boil in a pot with a basket. Boil the greens and beans for 10 minutes or until wilted. When the stew is done, drain the vegetables and add them to the pot and let sit for 5 – 10 minutes. Serve in a bowl on top of rice, cauliflower “rice” or just on its own.
While this recipe seems to take a long time, it really isn’t that much in prep time, just plan ahead 2.5 hours for this meal. When it is done you have pretty much a one-pot stop! Mostly Dukan Diet Worthy on Phase 2 and higher. I altered this recipe from a book I got last Christmas by Anya von Bremzen called “The New Spanish Table”. It’s nice to think that every culture, all over the world, has some variation on a “beef stew”. Maybe that is what makes it such a classic dish. I hope you enjoy!