Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Hearty Healing Beef Stew


I love beef stew and finally have a new favorite (grain and nightshade free!) recipe to replace my old favorite which is no longer on the list of foods I can eat.  

This stew is so nourishing and delicious! I discovered the recipe it in a cookbook I pre-ordered last December: The Healing Kitchen: 175+ Quick & Easy Paleo Recipes to Help You Thrive. This cookbook has been such a blessing and is really helping me add some variety to my diet! 

I decided to serve the "Hearty Healing Beef Stew" for the feast of St. Brigid (Feb. 1st) this year. St. Brigid is patroness of cattle (among many other things) and many miracles have been attributed to her that involve physical healing. This stew was perfect for her feast! 

St. Brigid Doll from Catholic Folk Toys

I have ended up serving this stew the last four Monday nights! The boys love arriving home from their late night hockey practices to some stew simmering on the stove. We rarely have any leftovers! 

I modified the original ingredients (serves 4 to 5) from The Healing Kitchen to make enough stew for our family of nine:

Hearty Healing Beef Stew

Ingredients:
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 pounds beef stew meat
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 2 large yellow onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme (This time I used 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick (I am out so I used 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon) 
  • 2 (1-inch) pieces fresh orange peel
  • 8 cups Beef Broth 
  • 1 - 15 oz can Sweet Potato Puree
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 8-10 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (the first time I used 1 bag of Trader Joe's Carrots of Many Colors) 
  • 1 head of celery, chopped
  • 1-2 bunches of kale, chopped

Directions: 

Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the meat, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and brown on all sides for 8-10 minutes total, but avoid getting a crust on the outside.  (Make sure you scrape up all those caramelized brown bits from the bottom of your pot to give your stew a deep, rich flavor!)

Stir in the onion, thyme, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, orange peel, and remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant.



Add the broth, sweet potato puree, and wine to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover with a  lid, and cook for 1 hour.



Add the carrots and celery to the pot and return the stew to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for an additional 40 minutes. Add the chopped kale, submerging it in the liquid, and cook for 25 more minutes, until wilted and tender.  

Remove the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and orange peel before serving. 


For the feast of St. Brigid, the girls also made our "St. Brigid's Cross Dinner Rolls" again this year to serve alongside the stew for the rest of the family who aren't on a grain-free diet. I love how they turn out!




Prayer to St. Brigid of Ireland

St. Brigid,
You were a woman of peace.
You brought harmony where there was conflict.
You brought light to the darkness.
You brought hope to the downcast.

May the mantle of your peace cover those who are troubled and anxious,
And may peace be firmly rooted in our hearts and in our world.
Inspire us to act justly and to reverence all God has made.

Brigid you were a voice for the wounded and the weary.
Strengthen what is weak within us.
Calm us into a quietness that heals and listens.
May we grow each day into greater wholeness in mind, body and spirit.
Amen.