First a little bit of background information. I have recently decided to start this blog on cooking gluten free meals. My husband and I have been gluten free for about 12 years now. We have discovered that cooking gluten free also means cooking with fewer carbs, being careful about dairy products and not using sugar, except for very special occassions. I frequently get asked about my recipes, so, I decided to publish them as I make them.
Most of my recipes develop from what i have just harvested or have on hand. I grow almost all of the vegetables that we eat, with the major exception of Brussels Sprouts and Broccoli. Those two just don’t compete with the weather and bugs that we have here in Nonesuch.
The following stew recipe is a result of harvest of the last of the vegetables from the garden and cleaning out the freezer to make way for a new side of beef this fall. Our beef is all pasture finished on Clover Hill Pastures just down the road from us.
I don’t list amounts because this stew is very easy to put together by just adding ingredients to taste.
Harvest Beef Stew
One beef shoulder roast: at least 2 pounds, cut into 1″ chunks. Brown the meat in a skillet. If you are working with a large amount of meat, brown the meat in an oven set at 450 degrees.
Place the browned meat into a large enough pot to hold a good variety of vegetables.
Using water, deglaze the pan, that the meat was browned in and add that water to the stew pot.
Now start adding the vegetables:
I start with the vegetables that have to cook the longest.
Peel and chop some potatoes. Add them to the pot.
I add both green and red tomatoes. Chop them into small pieces. They add flavor and tenderize the meat.
I am using dehydrated onions right now. I added only about 2 large tablespoons. If you are using fresh onions, then I think one medium onion would be enough with a 2# roast.
Chop some fresh sweet peppers. These are Johnny Nardellos but any sweet pepper will work. If you like things a little spicier, then add some poblanos or other hot chili.
Chop some okra and add it to the stew. The okra acts as a thickener and adds a wonderful flavor. I find that I need a lot of okra in proportion to the other vegetables. It cooks up and almost disappears while it enriches the stew.
Add a few handfuls of black-eyed peas. These have just been taken from the freeze. Dried would also work, if, they have been soaked overnight.
Now for one of my favorite ingredients in a stew, Worcestershire sauce. I only use Lea & Perrins because it is the only one that I have found to be gluten free.
I love adding some red wine to this rich hardy stew. Add at least a cup and let the stew simmer until the vegetables and meat start to get tender. For a 5 lb roast, I add a whole bottle. The wine serves to enhance all the other flavors, while the alcohol cooks out of it. Check to make sure that there is plenty of liquid covering the meat and vegetables. It will cook down, so, keep an eye on it.
After the stew has simmered for awhile, add some chopped winter squash. I’ve added Butternut Squash to this stew.
Last of all, add some chopped Swiss Chard or Kale. I add the leaves and the stems. If you like a stronger flavor, you can substitute cabbage for the Swiss Chard.
Add sea salt to taste and black pepper. Let everything simmer until the stew sends off a savory scent and is thickened up.
Place into bowls and serve by itself or with your favorite gluten free bread, or regular bread if gluten is not an issue.
I like to make up a very large pot of this stew and freeze it in quart containers. It is wonderful on a cold day. It usually takes about 4 hours total preparation and cooking time. Part of that time is spent cleaning and cutting up vegetables, maybe even harvesting them. If you use frozen vegetables, the time will be much less.
This could easily be a vegetarian soup by leaving out the meat. First roast the vegetables with ghee, olive oil or coconut oil. Add everything to the soup pot along with the liquid from cleaning out the roasting pan.