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Here in Southern California, we’re enjoying delightful weather – but I know that’s certainly not the case everywhere (at least in my hemisphere). So in honor of those suffering through, what I know sometimes feels like, the endless days of winter, I am offering you the very best in comfort food – beef stew (or should i say “beef” stew?). Hearty, delicious, and simple – just the way it should be. My secret is red wine, which adds a depth of flavor to the broth.
Simple Beef-Less Stew
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large carrots chopped large, or 20 baby carrots cut in half
- 12 baby potatoes cut in quarters (or halves if really tiny)
- 1/2 bag frozen pearl onions
- 2 cups red wine
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 bag Gardein beefless tips
- salt & pepper
In a dutch oven or other good-sized stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the carrots and potatoes and cook, stirring frequently, for about 8 minutes. Turn the heat to medium high, add the pearl onions and cook for another 5-7 minutes. The vegetables should begin to brown, carmelizing a little on the edges (which adds lots of yummy flavor!).
Add the red wine and and bring to a boil, scraping any burned bits from the bottom of the pan into the mixture (deglazing). Keep the pan uncovered and allow the wine to reduce by half, burning off any alcohol – this will take about 5 minutes at a steady simmer.
The mixture should be bubbling, but not boiling. Cover and allow to cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes, or until potatoes and carrots are tender.
This recipe is just as delicious without the beefless tips, so if you’re not a fan of faux-meat, you will still enjoy a yummy stew. You may also want to experiment by adding mushrooms, or some other root vegetables, such as parsnips. I kept it traditional, but you don’t have to!
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