Hearty Healthy Beef Stew

Perfect for cold weather and staying in, this stew is full of nutrients. It was the first stew I made using all fresh ingredients from the market in the city center.

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1-2.5 lbs (500g-1kg) of beef

1-2 beef bones

1-2 lbs carrots

1-2 lbs potatoes

1 bunch of celery

5-6 tomatoes

2-3 red onions

4-5 cloves of garlic

red wine

fresh parsley

salt and pepper to taste

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Beef cut is up to you. This one was bone in and had quite a bit of fat on it. Since then, I’ve made a few more stews and my favorite cut is shoulder. It is lower in fat and boneless, then I buy a few pieces of bones and cook them in the stew as well. Why the bones? Bones have tons of nutrients and cooking them in with your stew and all the veggies is like creating your own beef stock instead of adding bought stock. You can usually get bones of you ask for them in the meat department or from your farmer/butcher. Whatever cut you decide on, bring the meat to room temperature. Do not cut it up into small pieces, but leave it as a whole. Salt and pepper both sides of the meat. In dutch oven or large pot add oil of your choice. I prefer coconut, but olive oil is okay too. On med-high heat, bring oil to hot temperature, but do not let it smoke. Sear beef on all sides for 1-2 minutes. Next add onion and garlic and really scrape the bottom to mix it in with all that flavor. This really adds a depth of flavor to your stew. Then the tomatoes. Next the wine. Pour about half a bottle over the beef and deglaze. It shouldn’t quite cover the meat. Again scrape the bottom and mix it all up really well. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until alcohol has burned off, flipping the meat over once. In this time, chop carrots to thickness of about 1cm or 1/3 in. Also chop up your potatoes. They shouldn’t be too small, but keep them in bite-size pieces. The same goes for the celery. The first time I made this I made the pieces too large and it wasn’t easy to eat. Once the stew has been reduced, add carrots and bones and enough water to just cover the meat. Stir well and bring to boil. Once it boils, reduce heat to very low. It shouldn’t even be simmering. It can simmer ever so slightly. Add potatoes and celery. Cover and let cook for 3-4 hours. Yes, hours. This is going to make your meat unbelievably tender. The time depends on how big your piece of beef is. When it’s done it should easily fall apart  with a fork and your fingers. The potatoes and carrots should be just right too. Then what I like to do is let it sit and cool for a little while. Once it has cooled for 30 minutes or so, you can see the saturated fat collecting on top. I use a spoon and remove this. I don’t go crazy, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to remove half a cup of that bright orange fat! Then I take out the bones, the marrow inside will be soft so I put that back into the stew. Then I take out the beef and shred it with a fork and remove the fat. Then I add back the beef to the stew and add the chopped parsley and that is it! When we buy 1kg of beef this recipe lasts up one week. That means lunch for two people per day. Roughly 10-14 meals.