3 lbs chuck roast or thick sirloin steak, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
3 large or 6 small carrots, peeled and sliced into large pieces
2-3 large white or gold potatoes, unpeeled and cut into chunks
1 (28 oz) can peeled San Marzano plum tomatoes well crushed by hand, removing any “shoulders” OR 5-6 (2 pounds) ripe peeled and crushed tomatoes
2 stalks celery make sure one has leaves, cut into large pieces
1 small sweet onion, chopped
2 t ground basil
1 t Mediterranean oregano
1/2 t ground black pepper
Salt to taste
2 T olive oil
Optional: hot red pepper flakes
Spoon Mage™ Note:
The type of meat you buy is up to you. Chuck roasts are tasty and have a wonderful texture but require a little work to cut off all the excess fat and muscle connectors. Buy a little more than 3 pounds to allow for some loss of weight in the trimmings. If you choose sirloin, make sure the steak is at least an inch thick.
Stew is extremely flexible. Adjust the veggies to suit your tastebuds. You might want maximum carrots and only a few potato chunks, do it and enjoy!
Include as many tasty celery leaves as you can. They are wonderful for seasoning the broth.
If you are using fresh tomatoes, you will find that plum tomatoes are best. If all you have is canned regular not plum (not fancy San Marzano tomatoes), that works just fine. Use whatever you have.
Preheat the oven to 325° F.
In the order given, layer all the ingredients inside a large Dutch oven.
After you pour on the olive oil, gently give the stew a toss to combine.
Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid, and place in the oven for 3 hours.
Stir after 2 hours. Taste the juices and adjust the seasonings if necessary. You may want more pepper or salt. Or you might want a bit of zing and so will add a sprinkle of hot red pepper flakes. This is the best time to add extra seasonings as there is still time for the flavors to cook into the stew.
After three hours of cooking, remove the pot from the oven and let it sit, covered, for 15 minutes while you bake up a batch of delicious baking powder biscuits.