By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet
“Talk of joy: there may be things better than beef stew and baked potatoes and home-made bread - there may be.”
-- David Gayson
-- David Gayson
When I was in grade school I did happily eat my mother's tasty meat dishes. After all, I grew up in the fifties, a time when meat and potatoes were an item in my life. Roast beef and scalloped potatoes; BBQ hamburgers and fries; steak and a baked potato--were popular in our household. Fast forward to The Mediterrnean diet, which I, now as a health-conscious boomer adore with all my heart (pun intended). It does include meat sparingly--and folks in Czech love beef. Last week, I received copies of my book The Healing Powers of Vinegar (it was translated in Czech-ese). So, I'm going to dedicate this wholesome beef recipe from the book to the publisher and my mom...
This stew reminds me of the charming romantic film Green Card. There's a scene when the French man and American woman go grocery shopping. He wants meat, she does not. She, like me, is into the California hippie thing: sprouts, veggies, plants... But this recipe is good (olive oil, vinegar, wine, tomatoes, garlic, onion) to have on hand because you never know what serendipity may bring to you or me.
A caveat: Without hesitation I would add potatoes and carrots to this stew. Plus, serving warm, fresh whole grain French bread would play a role, too. Now, the problem remains. I don't have anyone to cook this dish for...Ah, my two beloved Brittanys with French roots and meat-loving kitty would do tricks and purr for it, I'm sure. Nah, maybe a meat lover from the Mediterranean (like in the memorable film French Kiss) will pay me a visit. Or better yet, if I get my overdue trip abroad in 2010 I may eat exactly what I am served, especially if it boasts healthy ingredients like this stew.
P.S. I want a Dutch Oven for my birthday, October 6. What a fab way to cook during cooler days, cooler nights--a colder climate. Fall is coming. I feel it in the air.
Mediterranean Beef Stew
1 pound lean beef or stew meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup canned beef broth
1/2 cup sliced pimento-stuffed green olives
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes in oil, drained, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons Nakano Seasoned Rice Vinegar with Red Pepper or Nakano Seasoned Red Wine Vinegar--Italian Herb
1 tablepoon tomato paste
1/4 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Dredge meat in flour. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add half of meat; brown on all sides and transfer to a bowl. Repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon oil nd meat. Add onions to Dutch oven; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients except basil. Return meat with any accumulated juices to Dutch oven. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 2 hours or until meat is tender. Stir in basil just before serving. Serves 4.
Source: The Healing Powers of Vinegar by Cal Orey, published by Kensington, 2009 (mass market edition)