Do you find cooking a chore or recreation? Here we are in the 21st century and most of us still fall into one category or the other, whether we are man or woman. Pleasure is an essential ingredient to the daily routine of cooking. The pleasure we get from cooking one day urges us to do it all again the next.
greek style beef stew
1 1/2 lbs. sirloin steak, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup APflour
1/2 tsp. salt, Celtic Sea Salt preferable
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 Tbsp. butter, divided
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 tsp. dried rosemary, thyme or oregano
1 cup white wine
1 cup vegetable broth
5 strips of orange peel, each about 1 inch wide
15 oz. can diced tomatoes with juices
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup pitted green or black olives, sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large re-sealable plastic bag place beef cubes with flour, salt and pepper. Shake to coat beef evenly with flour. In a large, deep-sided, oven-safe pot with lid, heat 2 Tbsp. butter over medium-high. Remove the beef cubes from the flour with a slotted spoon and add to the warmed pot in a single layer. Sauté, turning on all sides, until browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove browned beef to a plate.
Place the remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in the pot. Add chopped onions and cook, stirring until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add your choice of dried herb and stir. Add the wine, scraping cooked bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the broth, orange peel, tomatoes, carrots and potatoes. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat. Place the lid on the pot and transfer to preheated oven. Bake 1 hour, until the meat is tender.
To finish, discard the orange peel and stir in the olives. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve over pasta, couscous or with chunks of good crusty bread.
(Note: The photo shows the stew made with sweet potatoes which substitute for the white variety wonderfully,)