Thursday, February 2, 2012
Slow Cooked Beef Stew
I don't think I've shared a beef recipe yet on this blog. It might be because we rarely eat it. To eat meat or to not eat meat is an interesting subject and heated debate among many. Beef is a concentrated source of protein, minerals, fats, and vitamins. For the deficient person, beef can be extremely beneficial. For someone dealing with diseases of excess, beef may lead to more health issues. Eating beef raised on corn, which is most likely GMO-corn, leads to the need for medications for the cattle, different types of fat deposited in the meat, and a reliance on a type of agriculture that is not sustainable for our planet. Plus, most feedlot cattle these days are pumped full of hormones to grow and plump up quicker, making the business of raising cattle more profitable. If this isn't enough, it has now been found that a quarter of all ground beef is now tainted with drug-resistent bacteria, such as staph aureus.
When cooking with beef, look for a source of locally raised grass-fed beef. Grass-fed beef is lower in saturated fat and higher in Omega-3 fatty acids, CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), and vitamin E. In fact raising cows on grass is what nature intended. It has only been in the last 70 years that farmers began feeding grain (corn) to cattle. Eating beef with green leafy vegetables, especially cultured vegetables, helps digest the meat, making the meal even more beneficial.
I feel best revolving my diet around plants and eating beef on occasion, only when I feel I really need it. The end of pregnancy creates an extra demand on a woman's body. I found that eating red meat about twice a week in the third trimester of my pregnancies was very beneficial. Now breastfeeding a busy, scooting, almost-crawling five-month-old, I feel good having beef in my diet once or twice month. Of course you'll need to decide how often, or if at all, eating beef is right for you.
Slow Cooked Beef Stew
This stew is ridiculously easy to prepare. Just add everything to your crockpot, cover, and walk away. I like to serve it over mashed potatoes with a quick cabbage slaw in the wintertime. I make the cabbage slaw by thinly slicing savoy cabbage and tossing it with roasted walnuts and a homemade red wine vinaigrette (dressing recipe in our cookbook on page 184).
1 medium onion, diced
3 to 4 large carrots, cut into ¼-inch rounds
½ pound mushrooms, quartered
1 pound grass-fed beef stew meat
½ cup water
¼ cup dry red wine
¼ cup tomato puree or sauce
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt or Herbamare
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Place the onion, carrots, mushrooms, and stew meat into a 3-quart slow cooker. In a small bowl whisk together the water, red wine, tomato puree, and arrowroot. Pour into the slow cooker. Add the salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients together. There won’t be enough liquid to cover the ingredients. This is how it should be so don’t be tempted to add more liquid.
Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours. Sometimes I crack the lid for the last 45 minutes or so of cooking in order to cook off some of the liquid which creates a thicker stew. Serves four. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com