Beef Stew
Serves 6
Preparation Time: 2.5 hours (+ overnight soaking of legumes and grains)
Requirements: Cast Iron Pot

 

This is a great recipe if you want an incredibly hardy and comforting meal. While it takes a bit more preparation and cooking time, it’s something that can be made in a large batch to last more than one night. I really love this recipe because essentially every ingredient can be substituted to make it exactly the way you like it. This is only really a framework so feel free to adjust it to suit your needs and tastes.
Like all of the recipes here I encourage you to seek the highest quality and freshest ingredients when you are cooking. This makes the biggest difference in flavour and makes the experience extremely enjoyable and memorable. I always encourage sourcing organic/biodynamic/wild ingredients wherever possible to reduce the burden of synthetic chemicals and environmental toxins.
For this particular recipe, I highly recommend using grass-fed beef that have bones in them. Cuts of meat like osso buco or short rib tend to be cheaper, incredibly delicious when slow cooked and the bones add a richness to the broth that you wouldn’t otherwise get.
I also recommend using the best water you have access to. A tasty water with low chlorine and fluoride will lend a much better flavour than most municipal waters.  

 

I particularly like this recipe because it covers a lot of bases:

-This meals is composed of a few core components that are interchangeable. It is essentially meat, allium vegetables, root vegetables, tomato paste, grains, legumes, greens, water and seasonings. If you prefer lamb, use lamb shanks; if you like leeks more than onions, use leeks; if you like spinach more than kale, use spinach; if you like turnips more than potatoes, use turnips; if you like buckwheat more than barley, use buckwheat. It’s as simple as that.
-This meal is diverse. It covers so many bases and lays a great nutritional foundation. Eating something like this once a week, changing your vegetables, meat and grains each week is a great way to diversify your diet and increase the variety of foods you consume.
-The apple cider vinegar makes the minerals from the bones of the meat to leech out into the cooking water, making the broth mineral rich and tasty.
-It’s a fantastic comfort food.
-Kids love it.

 

Ingredients:

4 pieces Osso Buco
1 large Onion
1 head Garlic
1.5 tbsp tomato paste
2 Carrots
3 Potatoes
Half a Cabbage
Dried herbs (I like thyme and oregano)
1 cup of Grain and Legume mixture (I like rye, oats, barley, brown rice, lentils)
2 Bay Leaves
Salt
Pepper
Olive Oil
Dulse Flakes or Other Powdered Seaweeds
Apple Cider Vinegar

 

Method:

  1. Soak grain and legume mixture overnight, the day before you plan to cook. This can be done a day or two before to let them sprout for a while before cooking. This will increase digestibility. 
  2. Using your cast iron pot, brown your meat (with olive oil if necessary), ensuring all of the fat has been rendered and it’s a golden brown colour.
  3. Take the meat out of the pot, leaving the juices. Start cooking chopped onion and garlic. These don’t need to be cut fine as they’ll be cooked for a long time.
  4. Add some salt, pepper and dried herbs and let the onions and garlic break down for a few minutes.
  5. Add tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Add chopped root vegetables, stirring to cover them with the meat juices and tomato paste.
  7. Add greens and continue stirring.
  8. Add grains and legumes.
  9. Add roughly 1.5-2L boiling water to deglaze.
  10. Bring back to a boil and add browned meat back into the broth.
  11. Add 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, bay leaves and seaweed.
  12. Put lid on cast iron pot with a small gap to allow steam to escape.
  13. Place in oven at 180C for roughly 2-3 hours.
  14. Test the meat to see if it’s tender. Once tender, salt to taste.