This is a hearty, wintry stew. You could use a variety of different vegetables–potatoes, celery root, rutabaga would all be good. Mix and match as you see fit. It’s even better the next day, as these kinds of stews tend to be.
Serves 6 generously
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 pound beef belly or stew meat, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cups thickly sliced carrots
1 large or several smaller turnips, peeled and cut into ½ – ¾ -inch dice
2 kohlrabi, peeled and cut into ½ – ¾ -inch dice
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste, thick tomato sauce or 4 halves roasted tomatoes
1/2 cup beer or dry white or red wine (optional)
4 cups beef broth (more if you’d like it more soupy) or other broth or veggie bouillon broth
1 bay leaf
4 thyme sprigs or 2 teaspoons dry thyme or 1 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
Salt and pepper to taste
Noodles, Rice or couscous and lots of chopped parsley to serve
In a brown paper bag, place flour, salt, and pepper. Add diced beef. Close the bag. Hold it tightly and shake. Open bag and make sure that all of the beef is lightly coated in flour and seasoning.
In a large Dutch oven (or big soup pot), heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add a single layer of beef. Cook, browning on all sides. The beef doesn’t need to be cooked through, just browned. Remove from the pan and repeat until all the beef is browned. Set beef aside.
In the same Dutch oven, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add onions and carrots and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and heat through. Deglaze the pan with the beer or wine, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Add bay leaf, thyme or rosemary and soy sauce. Add beef and generously cover with broth or stock. Turn heat to low and let gently simmer for 35 minutes (or longer if your beef is from a tougher cut). Add the turnips and kohlrabi and cook for another 20 minutes or so until the vegetables are cooked through. Taste add salt, and pepper as necessary.
Serve over pasta, couscous or rice with a sprinkling of fresh parsley.