Cold Weather Beef Stew

The change of the seasons from summer to fall means it's time to start breaking out the Dutch ovens and Crockpots to make those great nourishing one-pot meals that will fill your family's tummies and warm their hearts without breaking the bank. The great thing about soups and stews is that these meals make it easy to eat produce that is in season and they contain lots of immune-supporting ingredients in them, as well.

Here is a recipe for beef stew I made that was a modification of Martha Stewart's version.

Ingredients:
3 pounds lean beef stew meat, cubed and trimmed of fat

1/2 cup flour (you can use Bob's Red Mill all-purpose gluten-free flour if desired)

1 teaspoon ground sea salt

1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

olive oil
2 medium-sized yellow onions, sliced into quarters

6-7 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed with knife

3 carrots, sliced into large chunks

4 stalks celery, sliced into large chunks

8-10 yellow dutch potatoes, sliced in half (or kept whole if small enough)

2 bayleaves

1 tsp dried thyme

1/3 cup tomato paste

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 cups no salt beef broth

2-3 cups water



Fresh parsley

Fresh grated Parmesan cheese



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bag, combine flour, salt and pepper. Add beef cubes and coat with mixture. Heat several tablespoons on low in a cast iron pan and add coated beef a few pieces at a time, browning each side. Transfer meat to 2 quart Dutch oven. Add a little more oil, and brown onions in drippings. Transfer onions and all pan drippings to Dutch oven. Add the rest of the ingredients, adding enough water to about 1 inch below ingredients. Cook on stove over medium heat until liquid begins to boil. Transfer to oven and cook for 2 1/2 hours, then turn down oven to 200 degrees for another hour to really tenderize the meat. Scrape the sides of the Dutch oven occasionally during the cooking process.

Top with fresh parsley and fresh, grated Parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with green salad, cornbread, and honey-lemon butter.

Here's a link to a wonderful gluten-free cornbread recipe:
http://www.celiac.com/articles/853/1/Cornbread-Deluxe-Gluten-Free/Page1.html

Recipe for honey-lemon butter:

Whip 1/4 cup softened butter with 2 tablespoons honey and 2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice together. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Enjoy!