One of my fond memories of winter as a child was the beef stew that my mom would always make. I can remember she spending the whole day making these huge batches of it, putting it into individual containers, and then freezing them so we would have stew all winter long. It was tasty, filling and always made my tummy happy. Well, I’ve decided to update my mom’s stew and add sweet potatoes, rainbow carrots (for some fun color) and Kale (for added nutrition). The balsamic vinegar adds an extra touch of flavor and a scent that makes my mouth water. It tastes just as good as my mom’s (if not better, but I won’t tell her that!), and definitely is making my clean tummy happy.
Serves 6 with 2-cup servings
- 1 lb stew beef, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
- 2 TB arrowroot flour
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- ground sea salt and ground black pepper
- 2 TB extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 4 small sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes
- 2 medium yellow potatoes, chopped into 1 inch cubes (leave skin on)
- 2 lbs rainbow carrots, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into “half moons”
- 5 or 6 oz bag of pre-washed and cut Kale (I used bagged for easiness, but you can always chop a full head of kale!)
- 1 small or 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 TB fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
- 1 TB fresh thyme leaves
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 cups beef stock
- 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- Whisk together the arrowroot flour, dried basil, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and salt & pepper in a mixing bowl, add the beef and toss in the mixture to coat.
- Heat a large saucepan over medium heat, add extra virgin olive oil to cover bottom on pan completely, then add the beef to the pan and brown all sides of the pieces (about 2 minutes per side).
- While the beef is browning, chop your veggies (if you haven’t already) and add them to a large crockpot. When the beef is done, add it to the crockpot and mix with the veggies.
- In the same saucepan, add the remaining tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to cover bottom of the pan, add the diced onion, rosemary and thyme, a little extra ground sea salt and ground black pepper, and sauté to soften (about 5 minutes). Mix in the chopped garlic and sauté for another minute. Then add the beef stock and balsamic vinegar, and using a wooden spoon scrape all the brown bits to incorporate them into the sauce. Bring the sauce to a light boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- When the sauce is done, mix it in with the beef and veggies in the crockpot, and cook on low for 4 or 5 hours, or until the beef is completely fork tender.