Lately I wouldn’t say that my kids have been overly thrilled with the meals I have been making. It’s not that they don’t like them at all, but they seem to find something every night that doesn’t make them happy. I think I am a pretty decent cook, and they should be thanking me every night for putting a home cooked meal in front of them, but I guess when you grow up with that, you don’t really appreciate it.
We had a little talk, and I explained to them that there would be no more complaining. If they didn’t like what was on the table for dinner, they could have cold cuts. So far, things have been going pretty well. For the most part they have been eating everything I make for dinner – whether they are loving it or not. I saw this recipe in Cooking Light (which I adapted slightly below), and thought they would love this. It is simple, not a ton of vegetables, and made with beef – their favorite meat. Wow, this was incredible – such a delicious stew. The icing on the cake for me was the polenta I made with black truffle oil…unbelievable. The girls took one bite though and asked for cheese on top. “Mommy, everything is better with cheese.” Well, I caved, but in my mind, the stew couldn’t be any better.
- 7 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped carrot
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 pounds boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into cubes
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1 pound crushed tomatoes
- 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes with basil
- 1 1/2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 (8-ounce) package cremini mushrooms, quartered
- 3/4 cup (1/4-inch-thick) slices carrot
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan. Add onion and chopped carrot; sauté 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; sauté for 45 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from pan.
Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan. Place 1/4 cup flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle beef with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper; dredge in flour. Add half of beef to pan; sauté 6 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure.
Add wine to pan, and bring to a boil, scraping pan. Cook until reduced to 1/3 cup (about 5 minutes). Return meat and the onion mixture to pan. Add tomato and next 6 ingredients; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover, and stir in sliced carrot. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour or until meat is very tender, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaf. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, basil, and parsley.
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