Monday, October 25, 2010

Country Italian Beef Stew

It's been a family favorite for FOREVER... and all agree that the only way it could be improved-upon was to make it with grass-fed (Polyface) beef :-)
All the Best! -- Joe K, Annapolis
Makes 6-8 servings
2 lbs. Polyface Sirloin Tip Roast (or any other Roast will do)
8 ounces of tiny "new potatoes, halved or quartered
2 medium parsnips (or carrots), peeled and cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces
1 cup chopped onion
1 medium fennel/anise bulb, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
1 14-oz can of beef broth
1 cup dry red wine (or 1c beef broth if preferred-- but wine is better!)
1 6-oz can of tomato paste
2 tblsp quick-cooking tapioca
1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 cups fresh basil leaves, fresh spinach leaves, or torn fresh escarole

1. Trim fat from meat. Cut meat into 2-inch pieces. Set aside
2. In a 4- to 5-Qt slow-cooker, combine potatoes, carrots, onion, and fennel. Add the meat on top.
3. In a medium bowl, combine broth, wine, tomato paste, tapioca, rosemary, pepper, and garlic. Pour over mixture in cooker.
4. Cover and cook on LOW-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours (or 4-5 hrs on HIGH heat [but LOW is better]).
[After about an hour, the home will smell awesome.. POST A GUARD at the slow-cooker to stop "snoopers" from lifting the lid !
Keeping the lid on is essential to keeping the moisture content just right!]
5. Just before serving, stir in the basil/spinach/escarole.
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