- beef stew meat - 2 lbs, at least 85% lean
- onion - 1 whole, diced celery - 2 stalks,
- diced red bell pepper - 1 whole, diced
- garlic - 4 cloves, minced
- mushrooms - 1 lb, cut into quarters
- carrots - 8, chopped
- beef stock - 1 cup
- red wine - 2 cups (use a dry red)
- Italian seasoning - ½ tsp
- garlic powder - ½ tsp
- basil - ½ teaspoon,
- dried thyme - 6 sprigs, fresh (omit if no fresh thyme is available, or replace with oregano)
- salt - ¼ tsp
- pepper - ¼ tsp
- olive oil - 4 tbs
Season beef with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and italian seasoning.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear beef in skillet until all edges are brown, about 2 minutes per edge. Then, add red wine to the pan with the beef and scrape until all the brown bits come off. Turn heat to low and simmer.
While beef is simmering, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook without turning till browned on one side, about 3 minutes. Add diced onion and cook, stirring, until onion just begins to brown (about 5 minutes). Once onion begins to brown, add garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes, then add celery and bell pepper. Cook for 3-5 more minutes, until celery begins to brown.
Turn heat to low. Add beef and liquid to pot with vegetables. Stir in basil, 2 sprigs of thyme, carrots, and add 1 cup of beef stock (or until beef is covered in liquid). Cook on low heat until beef is tender and cooked completely through and the vegetables are tender.
Remove the thyme sprigs. Scoop into bowls, garnish with remaining thyme sprigs, and serve hot.
NOTE: To punch the flavor up an extra notch, you can start by cooking bacon in the skillet first, removing it, and browning the stew meat in the bacon fat. Then you proceed as planned and add the bacon at the very end, just before serving. This definitely makes it tastier, but the extra fat is probably outside Tim’s “lean meat” recommendation