Beef Stew with Red Beans and Tomato Sauce


On a cold day, sometimes all that is needed is a straight-forward simple comfort food, without too much elaboration. The following stew is exactly that.
The bone-in meat is braised slowly in a seasoned stock, along with red beans and tomatoes, creating a hearty all-in-one-pot dinner. Using canned tomatoes and beans makes preparing the dish quick and easy, with both contributing to creating thick and tasty sauce, perfect for dunking a crusty piece of bread in it.  Try it and enjoy.

Makes: 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Braising time: 3 hours
Chilling time (optional): overnight

Ingredients:
2 Tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, roughly cut
½ small fennel, roughly cut
1 small celery stalk, sliced
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
2-3 bay leaves
1 Tbs salt
½ tsp freshly ground four peppers mix
1.5 lbs (680 grams) beef shin, sliced with the bone
2 Tbs flour
3 cups beef stock
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp sweet paprika powder
¼ tsp hot paprika powder
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tsp honey
½ tsp cocoa powder
1 can (15.5 oz/439 grams) red beans, drained
1 can (14.5 oz/411 grams) diced tomatoes

1. Preheat the oven to 200F (93 C).
2. In a wide pot, mix 1 Tbs of the oil with the onion, fennel, celery, carrots, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Sauté over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes, mixing occasionally, until the onion softens.
3. Dust the meat with the flour. Move the sautéed vegetables to one side of the pot, and add the remaining 1 Tbs oil to the empty side. Add the meat to it, and fry for 2-3 minutes on both sides. Mix gently with the vegetables.

4. Mix the stock with the spices, vinegar, honey and cocoa powder, and add to the pot. Add the beans and tomatoes, mix gently and bring to the boil over high heat.
5. Cover the pot, lower the heat to medium-high, and cook on the verge of boiling for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

6. Transfer the covered pot to the oven and braise for 3 hours, until the meat is almost falling off the bone. The stew can be served at this point, but will taste even better after a night in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before warming gently over medium heat.

Braised Pot Roast with Pear Cider and Leek Gravy

After successfully using hard apple cider in a few dishes recently, I’ve found myself looking at a sparkling hard pear cider at the store, wondering if it will give a dish similar tasty results. Continue reading

Minced Pork with Coconut Milk and Curry

Minced pork dishes are known in different Asian cuisines. This quick way of cooking the meat, with lots of flavors and fresh ingredients, makes it perfect for a light lunch.
The version I have here was heavily inspired by the Thai cuisine, but it doesn’t follow any traditional recipe, and cannot be considered authentic/ethnic by any means. Continue reading

Turkey Patties with Pickled Lemon, Harissa and Parsley

Despite the fact I rarely use store bought ground meat, and always prefer to grind meat at home, when I saw a package of ground dark turkey meat from Koch’s farms a the store, I decided to still buy it, as I had positive experience with the product (recipe in THIS post). Continue reading

Shredded Braised Skirt Steak with Tomato-Parsley Rice

Skirt steak is one of the most flavorful beef cuts. The outer part is mostly suitable for pan-searing or grilling (see recipe HERE), while the inside part is more suitable for slow cooking, which is the method I used in the following recipe. Continue reading

Braised Lamb Shoulder with Red Wine Sauce

Braised lamb is a hearty dish, which I prefer to skip over in the hot summer days. Now that the days are getting shorter and colder, it’s time to go back to it.
The following stew has few ingredients, yet lots of flavor; from the use of red wine as the cooking liquid, and from the aromatic “Herbs de Provence” mix seasoning. The dish is quick to assemble and prepare, and is perfect for easy entertaining. Continue reading

Filo Pastries with Bison Meat, Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts

While I usually combine filo dough with different vegetarian fillings, this time I opted for a meat one. My original plan was to use lamb, but when I saw bison meat at the store, I decided to make a switch. Continue reading

Vietnamese Sandwich with Braised Pork Belly

Bánh mì (“bread” in Vietnamese”) sandwich is fusion at its best, as it combines Vietnamese-Asian flavors with French ones. It became a popular street food in Saigon around the 50’s, and from there its popularity spread around the world. Continue reading

Beef Kebabs with Zhoug and Harissa Raw Onion Relish Ronit Penso

Beef Kebabs with Zhoug and Harissa Raw Onion Relish

Zhoug is an aromatic Yemenite hot pepper and cilantro paste, which is known all over the Middle East and the Mediterranean. It is mostly used as a condiment, but it is also added to soups and other dishes. In the dish here, I’ve decided to use it to flavor a raw onion relish, along with sweet Harrisa, a spiced North African hot peppers paste, which was served with broiled beef kebabs. Continue reading

A Few Dishes with Dandelion Greens

Dandelion is known mostly as a seasonal plant, of which all its parts have been used in cooking and traditional medicine from ancient times. To many who are unfamiliar with the plant, the greens are many times considered an invasive weed in fields and gardens, but they are in fact edible and highly nutritious. As I’m not a gardener myself, nor a forager of wild greens, I’ve never tried them, until I recently found them at the store, and decided to buy a bunch. Continue reading

Beef Ossobuco with Onions and Mushrooms

The following hearty dish, is perfect for a cold day. The Ossobuco steak (cross-cut beef shank, with the bone in the center), is one of the richest and tastiest cuts. Inspired by the traditional “ossobuco in bianco” (ossobuco in white sauce) dish, that originated around Milan, I’ve decided to cook it with smothered onions and mushrooms, beef stock, white wine, mustard, juniper berries and bay leaves. The result was a falling-of-the-bones tender meat and bone marrow, with rich and aromatic sauce. Continue reading