Hello Beautiful Momma!
Are there certain things in your life that remind you of your own mother?
Traditions. Little things around the house?
For me, it’s tomato sauce. (Amongst other meaningful things)!
Totally random. Except, it’s not.
You see, my momma is a great cook and tomato sauce was something she kept regularly stocked in her pantry. “It’s something you always need to have on hand. Just in case.” And boy, could she whip up a delicious meal with it!
It never failed.
Now, I find myself chuckling whenever I use tomato sauce in my kitchen. Because it’s true; you can do so much with it!
So here’s a really easy and delicious home-style stew every loving momma outta learn how to make. All you need are vegetables, stew meat and a can of…(well, you guessed)!
1 can of regular tomato sauce, 15 oz
1-2 cans of hot boiled water (re-use the empty tomato sauce can)
2 lbs beef stew meat (Angus Beef is excellent)
3 large russet potatoes, quartered/chopped roughly (if organic & skin is thin, don’t peel)
4 large carrots, chopped largely
1-2 celery sticks, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped finely
1-2lbs sweet mini peppers (trimmed, cleaned out & left whole)
5 garlic cloves, (peeled) crushed but left whole
fresh dill herbs, chopped finely
Fresh thyme sprigs, a small bunch
Your seasoning of choice (I used: Lawry’s Garlic Salt (my favorite!), Chili Powder, Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper + McCormick Hot Madras Curry Powder)
3 dried bay leaves
1. Using a large dutch oven pot (or regular large pot), sauté onion & garlic in a generous amount of olive oil for a couple minutes.
2. Add your meat and bay leaves. Stir & continue sautéing. Let it really sizzle for 3-5 minutes. Then, add your seasoning + fresh thyme & fresh dill. Be generous. Keep the heat relatively high but not so it burns. Stir meat with care. Meat doesn’t like to be messed with if you want it tender. It will be seared & lightly browned in under 10 minutes.
4. Once your meat is seared, add carrots & celery. Pour 15oz of tomato sauce over it all. Add 1 can of hot boiled water to the pot (refill empty tomato sauce can). Stir. You want everything submerged in liquid, just right where it ends. Cover & simmer on low for about 10-15 minutes. At this point you have a generous amount of seasoning in it and your kitchen smells ah-mazing.
5. Once that has simmered, toss potatoes & mini peppers into the pot and add additional hot boiled water as necessary, to ensure everything is submerged in liquid (especially potatoes). This can vary slightly for every cook. Trust your instincts. You got this, momma! Sprinkle some more seasoning over it all + a few pinches of fresh dill. Then cover & continue simmering for about another 15 minutes or until the potatoes are done. I usually check with a fork. You want the potatoes a bit on the firmer side, if possible. Once done, remove stew off heat.
6. My favorite way to enjoy this meal, is with a side of warm Tandoori Naan bread (The frozen Garlic one from Trader Joe’s is the closest to authentic). Serve stew in individual bowls with a spoon & garnish with a pinch of fresh dill/parsley. *Remove bay leaves & thyme sprigs before serving. My kids like a dollop of sour cream on top.
- Make sure your stew always has a continuous nice simmer. Not a rolling boil. Adjust heat as you see it necessary.
- Prepare all of your ingredients before you begin the cooking process. Set them out in bowls, ready to use. This will make cooking so easy. Mix your seasoning together in a small bowl so you don’t have to scramble later. You’ll feel like a chef!
- Be heavy-handed with the seasoning but watchful on the salt. (Since I used a lot of Garlic Salt here, I completely omitted regular salt). Sometimes spices have added salt. Check the ingredients.
Blessings & love to you all!