Tomato Based Spicy Beef Stew

Beef stew is one of my favorites. Prep time is about an hour with all the slicing and peeling, but when it’s done it feeds me for a good 3 days, plus I freeze half and get another 3 days out of that. Saves me lots of cooking time during the week when I’d rather be doing other things. If you have a family this will feed 4 easily with some left over for lunch.

I adapted this recipe from one my nephew makes for his fire station. His is a four hour stew and uses pre-cut baby carrots and celery to save on prep time. I like my veggies and meat soft, so I slice regular carrots and celery to bite size, and cook it a great deal longer. I also like things spiced well so I add a bunch of spices. I have tried different combos and like this one the best. Feel free to change it up to your taste. Hope you like it and try it. If you do please let me know how it turns out. This is the ultimate winter soul food!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of stew beef (sirloin tips if you’re rich) 😉
  • 2 lbs red potatoesDSC01818
  • 48 oz of tomato sauce
  • 1 lb of carrots
  • 1 lb of celery
  • 1/3 of a cooking onion
  • 3 bell peppers of your color preference
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • tapioca
  • basil
  • Italian seasonings
  • black pepper
  • paprika
  • cayenne pepper

Peel and slice 1 lb of carrots and a third of a cooking onion. Slice 1lb of celery, 1 jalapeño pepper, and 3 bell peppers. I use one of each; orange, yellow, red for pretty colors lol. Use whatever kind you decide. Quarter 2 lbs of red potatoes. Toss all this stuff in a strainer and rinse thoroughly.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. The roasting pan I use is an 8 lb roasting pan that you can buy at any grocery store for a few bucks. I would really rather use one I didn’t have to throw away, but I don’t have one this size as of yet. Layer 2 lbs of stew beef or sirloin tips on bottom of pan, and pour half of your choice of tomato sauce (I use Hunt’s) over the meat. Add the vegetables from your strainer evenly over the top, and pour the rest of your sauce over that.

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Pretty colors yum!

I don’t measure my spices, I just evenly cover top with Italian seasoning and basil (I know Italian seasonings have basil, but I ❤ basil) then I go over quick with some black pepper, paprika, and even quicker with cayenne pepper. I always put less cayenne than I think it needs because this will cook for a long time, and I can add more if need be. Same goes for the other seasonings, add to your taste. Lastly I add about 3 tablespoons of tapioca. This is primarily used to thicken the sauce. I always end up adding more about half way through depending on how it is cooking and thickening. Have fun with it! It’s almost impossible to make a bad stew, so I encourage you to add what you like!

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Lastly cover with tinfoil and pop it in the oven. I usually cook this for about 10 hours at 250 degrees, and stir and try it a few times. Trust me you won’t forget about it when the aroma fills the house, and your with your dog continuously pacing back and forth from the stove to his bed. 😉 It’s done long before 10 hours, but I like things to melt in my mouth, and to be able to cut the meat with a spoon. Hint: if you over do it on the heat, just add some Parmesan on top of each serving   🙂

The thing I abhor about cooking is clean up so I always get the sink ready before I start so I have no excuse but to do it right away. I think this just kind of psyches my mind out and it is easier lol. Remember to recycle your cans, and whatever else you can. It takes a few extra minutes, but you are helping to make your footprint smaller on this planet that we all need. 🙂

If you try this let me know how yours turns out. This is a fantastic (many) meal(s) for the one hour worth of prep and stirring time. Also great for a night shifter too lazy to cook everyday like me, and it warms you up after shoveling the snow from your driveway! 🙂 ~ p4th3tic

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