Oh baby it’s cold outside. This past weekend, I didn’t want to leave my house and didn’t except for a few errands to run. I was talking about the soups I like to make and was reminded of a nice hot beef stew.
Shopping around Whole foods, I came up with a spin on a traditional beef stew recipe because they had this smokey black forest ham. It came out really good and somewhat healthy, so I thought I would share it.
Bekah’s Black Forest Bacon & Beef Vegetable Stew
Here’s my recipe:
- 3 slices of Black Forest Bacon
- 1/4 cup of butter (4-6 pats, ½ a stick)
- 1 small yellow onion
- 1 ½ Tablespoon chopped garlic
- 3 shallot cloves
- 4 stalks of celery
- 1 ½ cups of chopped carrots
- 6 red potatoes sliced into small cubes
- 2 cups of broth (I used vegetable broth, but you can use beef)
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon of Italian Spices
- 5 cups of water (adjust as needed)
- 1 small can of tomato sauce
- 2 small tomatoes, diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups chopped white mushrooms
- 1 ½ pounds of good quality beef stew meat, cut in chunks.
- 2-3 tablespoons of flour to thicken it up (adjust as needed)
- Salt, Pepper, Cayenne, Lemon Pepper to taste.
I purchased a few slices of Black Forest Bacon from the butcher, cut them in small pieces and sauteed them in the butter. This adds in a smokey flavor while the fats cook the veggies. Add onion, garlic, shallots, celery, potatoes and carrots. Let the veggies cook up and then add the broth to mix, add bay leaves and Italian spices. Once that has mixed together well, I add in water to allow everything to cook through, add less water for a thicker stew. Add in the can of tomato sauce and fresh tomatoes.
Meanwhile on the next burner, I am sauteing chopped mushrooms in a little olive oil and Italian spices. Once those are nice and browned, I add them to the pot and throw the steak stew meat onto the same pot. I brown the meat on the outside, but keep the temperature low since it will be added to the hot pot of stew already cooking.
You want to make sure the vegetables are cooking well, once they are getting soft, reduce the heat overall and add in the stew meat. Timing is everything, if the heat is too high – you can overcook your meat which will get tough. Slow cook the stew the rest of the time.
Add in the flour to thicken it up, stir thoroughly and cool some for tasting. This is where I add in the Salt, Pepper, Cayenne, Lemon Pepper to taste. All can be added or none at all, depends on your preference.
Overall took me less than an hour to make this stew. It tastes best when removed from heat and cooled a bit. The flavors settle and give it a savory smokey flavor. Perfect for the Holidays.
I ended up with a whole pot, which filled 5 Mason jars, my tummy and another container. I’m going to freeze a couple, share with family and have soup to keep me warm through the cold winter holiday.