Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day 22 | Yummy Beef Stew and a Confession

Okay, confession first.

I am so tired of 31 days of blogging about cooking.

I love cooking.  It's something I enjoy in my daily life and I love making good food for my family.  But that is just one part of me.  And I am dyyyyying to tell y'all about my fuzzy chair makeover, the cute jacket I actually sewed for the Kiddo, pumpkin shopping, Fall decorating and 1st birthday party planning...the list goes on.

I know I'm not the first 31 Dayer to feel the blogging burn.  And if I chose to, I wouldn't be the first to drop out.  But I'm committed and I'm going to finish this.  Mostly because I said I was committed to running a 1/2 marathon in November and I'm not, so I have to finish something!

On to the stew!  The Hubster has been begging me to make meatloaf for about a month now.  His goal for today was to do all the yard work {we have a huge front yard...and a huge back yard!} and I thought it would be super nice to make him meatloaf and potatoes for lunch.

Alas, we are out of ground beef!  I'm not sure when we'll be getting the new cow for next year, but I hope it's soon!  So, on to plan B.

Yummy Beef Stew

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs beef stew meat
1 16 oz package frozen stew veggies {new potatoes, onions, carrots, and celery}
1 16 oz package frozen mixed veggies {green beans, peas, corn, carrots}
1 small zucchini {or 1/2 large}, sliced
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 3 oz can tomato paste
1/2 cup merlot {optional, but it gives it oompf!}
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp raw honey
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp dried oregano, crushed
1 bay leaf
3 cups veggie broth, plus more as needed

Note: If you don't have the veggies listed above, check your fridge and freezer.  Do you have something similar that you could use instead?  The lovely thing about soups and stews is they are forgiving and are wonderful ways to clean out produce that's about to go bad!

Heat olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium high heat.  Add stew meat, season with salt and pepper, and cook until nice and brown.  Add 1/4 cup of the merlot and allow to reduce.

Add diced tomatoes and tomato paste and stir until well blended.

Add the frozen stew veggies, the frozen mixed veggies, the zucchini, and 1 cup of the veggie broth.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and add honey, worcestershire sauce, oregano, bay leaf, and remaining 2 cups of veggie broth.  Allow to simmer covered for 30-40 minutes.

Taste your broth {careful not to burn yourself!} and add remaining 1/4 cup of merlot along with any needed salt/pepper to taste.  Allow to simmer covered for an additional 45-60 minutes.  {The longer the better, my friend.}

Serve immediately.


Check out the other 31 Dayers here.

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