Chunks of beef (or veal) cooked until tender in tomatoes, onion, garlic and red peppers makes this easy beef tomato stew. Although you might think of this as a wintery beef tomato stew, it is a great dish for any time of year. We recommend making it a day ahead of time and reheating it just before serving. This will mellow the tomato sauce and it actually tastes better! It's also a great way to use leftover grilled meat.
- 3-4 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 to 2-1/2 lbs. (1 kg.) beef stew meat in chunks
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 2 yellow onions, peeled and chopped
- 1 can (28 oz.) stewed or crushed tomatoes or 5-6 large, fresh, ripe juicy tomatoes
- 1/2 cup white wine or 1/4 cup brandy
- 2 roasted red peppers
- 2 sprigs parsley
Note: You’ll need a wooden or plastic mortar and pestle for this recipe. Why use a mortar and pestle? Using a pestle in a downward circular motion to force ingredients against the surface of the mortar and smashing it will release more flavor than using a food processor. (It doesn’t use electricity and it’s easier to clean, too!)
- In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
- When hot, add beef and stir to brown on all sides. Make sure that the beef does not stick to pan. Add olive oil if necessary.
- Add the chopped onions and sauté on medium to low heat for 5 minutes or so. Add the crushed tomatoes and let cook for 5 minutes.
- While the beef and tomatoes are cooking, peel the garlic and smash it in the mortar with the parsley. Add a bit of the white wine and swish to clean any garlic and parsley that may be stuck to the inside.
- Pour contents of mortar and rest of white wine into the pot. Slice the red pepper in half and add to the pot.
- Stir well. Cover loosely and simmer until the meat is softened. This may take 30-40 minutes. Keep a close eye on the sauce and if it thickens too much, add a small amount of water.
If Using a Pressure Cooker: Instead of simmering 30-40 minutes in the pot, cook in a pressure cooker for 25 minutes.
Serving Suggestion: Serve with home-fried potatoes or white rice.