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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

Ingredients:

  • 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

Preparation:

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!).

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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.

beefless stew4Add the vegetable broth, stir well, and add the leaves from the thyme sprigs, plus the bay leaves.

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.

Add beefless tips and stir well.  Allow to cook for 5 minutes, uncovered. Remove bay leaves, salt and pepper to taste,  and serve.beefless stew7

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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!

You may also like:

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie  

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Mushroom Bourguignon

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