Beef stew isn’t really the first thing you think of having for dinner in summer. But when everything is in season, why not? I’ve been making this version of beef stew for about 10 years now and it is my absolute favorite. Maybe it’s because it’s completely devoid of peas and carrots (oh, I do hate cooked peas and carrots so) or maybe it’s the surprising plot twist at the end of the recipe, but I have yet to meet a better beef stew recipe.
Without further ado, my favorite beef stew recipe:
Summer Harvest Beef Stew
1.5lbs. stew meat
3 bell peppers, diced
1 onion, chopped
thyme, bay leaf & red pepper flakes
2 c. chopped tomatoes + 1 T. tomato paste (or 2c. tomato sauce)
2 cloves peeled garlic
1 c. really good red wine
1 c. chicken stock
Coat beef in flour and brown in a large hot pan. Take beef out and put aside. Add a bit of olive oil to pan and then add garlic, herbs, peppers, pepper flakes and onion. Saute until tender. Add meat back in the pan along with wine. Reduce wine by half. Add stock, tomatoes and tomato paste (or tomato sauce). Simmer for an hour covered and 30 minutes uncovered.
Heat 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar with 2 tablespoons sugar in small saucepan. When sugar is dissolved add into stew. Then add 1 t. unsweetened cocoa powder to stew. Stir well. Serve over roasted, quartered potatoes, egg noodles or rice.