Italian Beef Stew

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Generally, I make stew in the crockpot.  However, recently I've heard a lot of debate about the crockpot leaving food tasteless.  So I decided to test it out for myself by making this in a Dutch oven.  I'm here to report that this stew was WAY better made on the stovetop, and my husband agreed (he said this was a 10!).  Not only was the flavor sharp, the vegetables were tender, but still intact with nice texture.  

This stew was a great end to a busy, cool weekend.  We paired it with croissants, and an MLB playoff game.  We are both excited that there was plenty leftover for lunch during the week. 

Here is what you'll need:
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/4 b beef stew meat cut into 1 in. chunks
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 leek, diced
  • 1 small stack celery, sliced
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 small parsnip, peeled and sliced
  • 1 small purple top turnip, peeled and diced
  • 4 red potatoes, diced 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 28 oz. canned plum tomatoes, including juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  In a small bowl combine flour, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.  Add 1/2 stew meat to the bowl, coating the meat with flour.  Add to Dutch oven, cook until browned on all sides, stirring with a wooden spoon as needed.  Remove meat to a plate and set aside.  Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to Dutch oven, repeat coating and cooking remaining meat.  Remove meat and set aside.

Add remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil to Dutch oven.  Add onion, leek and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and slightly browned.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add carrots, parsnip, turnip, potatoes and garlic, stir and cook until garlic is fragrant.

Add beef broth, bouillon, tomatoes and spices. Stir, break up tomatoes with the spoon and scrape bottom of Dutch oven to release the brown bits.  Add beef, stir, and cover.  Reduce temp to low and cook 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender and sauce has thickened.  Serves 6.

Source: Adventures in My Kitchen

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