Hungarian Beef Stew

For my friends that do not enjoy chopping vegetables and cooking for a few hours at a time…this is not the recipe for you!

But if your sweet spot is found in front of a stove this recipe was made for you!

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I’ll never forget the first time I had Hungarian Beef Stew years ago. There was a torrential rainstorm outside.  I had no idea what to make for dinner and didn’t want to venture to the store amidst the downpour and yucky weather. But the idea of whittling away a few hours on a lazy Sunday afternoon in my kitchen sounded delightful. For I’ve always found a cathartic release in chopping vegetable after vegetable and in stirring a pot of stew as it slowly simmers unhurriedly .

On this particular afternoon, the icing on top was that I could use pantry staples to make the stew. I didn’t have to put on galoshes and contend with my ever so often broken umbrella. Instead, I opened my cabinet & freezer doors, and was able to pull together everything I needed.

So here’s to my fellow kitchen foodies who find much contentment in making a meal to serve those they love.

Beef & Sweet Potato Stew

We can tomatoes every summer, so I use them for all my soups and stews. It is a great way to take advantage of summer ripeness in the dead of winter. But I understand not everyone ‘puts up’ as those from my childhood called canning. In place of home canned tomatoes, you can use whole peeled plum tomatoes, but you will need to use a kitchen shearing knife to cut the tomatoes up so they aren’t whole in your stew.

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2" to 1" cubes
  • 2 large whole carrots, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1 cup chopped yellow or sweet onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb beef stew meat, cut into 1/2" to 1" cubes
  • 2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cardamon
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground chipotle pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground chili powder
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper
  • 3 TBSP Gluten Free Flour mix {or even just brown rice flour}
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 32 ozs canned tomatoes {see note}
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4-6 slices cooked, chopped bacon
  • 1-2 cups finely chopped spinach

Heat a few teaspoons of olive oil in a dutch oven on medium heat until warm.

Add sweet potatoes and carrots, along with a sprinkling of salt & ground pepper.

Saute for 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so. Then add a dash more olive oil along with the onions and another sprinkling of salt & pepper. Saute the mixture, stirring as needed, for another 7-10 minutes until the onions are translucent.

As the vegetables cook, mix together in a small bowl the stew meat, spices, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp ground pepper. Once meat is seasoned, add in flour and coat all pieces of the meat well.

Add stew meat, along with a bit more olive oil if needed, to the pan and allow to sear for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and stir well with a wooden spoon.

Add the broth to the pan and using a whisk, scrape the bottom of the pan so all the little bits of brown 'stuff' comes up. This is what impacts huge flavor into your stew.

Once the bottom is sufficiently scraped, add in the canned tomatoes, bay leaves, and bacon.

Bring the stew to simmering {just a few bubbles pop up every minute or so} and allow to simmer for approximately 1-2 hours until the meat is tender.

Stir in the chopped spinach and taste to see if more salt or pepper is needed.

Enjoy!

jessica

 

{Day 11 of #write31days challenge.}

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