Nourishing Winter Beet Stew

The color of this beet stew is so rich and vibrant, and that can be an extra comfort in the cold months. This stew is hearty and chock-full of nutritional benefits.

Winter Beet Stew is a meal for a slow, relaxed day at home; plenty of time to prep vegetables and plenty of time for slow braising in the oven.

Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients. Conquer by planning or “mise en place” as the French say. Wash, peel and chop your vegetables in stages. Group them together in the same way they will be added in the recipe. The sheer volume of vegetables in this recipe is incredible!

What I love about this recipe is that it is not your typical beef stew. It has a unique flavor and color, brought about by the lemon juice and beets, as well as a nutrient rich broth full of pureed swiss chard. It also uses ingredients that are all readily available in winter.

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This meal promises all the satisfying richness of a slow simmered roast, but also really surprises your palate with the complexity of a broth that is rich with pureed greens and brightened with a squeeze of lemon. You’ll love the twist this brings to regular beef stew.

Nourishing Winter Beet Stew

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs boneless chuck roast or 3 3/4 lbs short ribs/bone-in chuck roast
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks celery chopped, plus 1 cup chopped celery leaves
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard leaves chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 5 scallions roughly chopped
  • 1 1/4 pounds beets peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 pound carrots peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon sugar for Paleo diet, omit or use coconut sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. If using chuck roast, cube roast into bite size (1 inch) pieces. If using short ribs, leave whole. Trim any large pieces of fat. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Add the meat in batches and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Transfer the meat to a plate.
  2. Add the onions, garlic, chopped celery stalks and paprika and a suitable pinch of salt to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften, about 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until it starts to brown, about 4 minutes. Add 6 cups water and 2 teaspoons salt and stir, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Return the meat to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cover, transfer to the oven and cook 1 hour, 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, puree the chopped chard, lemon juice, scallions, celery leaves, 1 1/2 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt in a blender until smooth. Remove the pot from the oven; stir in the chard puree, beets, carrots, sweet potatoes and sugar. Return the pot to the oven and cook, uncovered, until the meat and vegetables are tender but hold their shape, 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours. Remove bones (if any); skim the fat off the sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the meat, vegetables and sauce into shallow bowls.

(Adapted from Food Network)

Nourishing Winter Vegetable Beef Stew

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