This weekend I was shopping for clothing, something I absolutely loathe doing, and I was reminded that it is that awkward time of year where winter clothes are too warm, and spring clothes are too cold. The muted colors of winter are still kicking around I mean those maroons, greens, and grays; and we are missing those tell-tale signs of spring like a bright yellow flowered tops and pastel pants. That is it! That is all you will ever hear about fashion from me. This brings me to my true topic of knowledge- food.
I was all set to post the most fantastic recipe for Mediterranean Beef Stew and then it was 60 degrees. It didn’t feel right. But now it is cold, and it feels even more wrong to not share the goods. I made this that one winter day when the snow hit us hard. Castelvetrano olives are briny mild olives from Italy that add color and a subtle tang to the stew and Harissa is a hot pepper paste popular in the Middle East and available by the jar at Trader Joes. We used beef, but lamb would be even better. Serve this with crusty bread with a lick of butter or even better a swipe of goat cheese.
1 lb. Chuck Stew Beef (or Lamb!)
2 Leeks (Sliced Thin)
4 Cloves of Garlic (Minced)
2 Shallots (Diced)
3 Bay Leaves
½ Cup Red Wine
1 Cup Water
¼ Cup All Purpose Flour
1 tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
4-5 Red Potatoes (Diced into Cubes)
1 Cup Pitted Castlevetrano Olives
1 Cup Mushrooms (Sliced)
2 tbsp. Harissa
Salt and Pepper(to taste)
1. Place stew meat into a ziplock bag with flour and salt and pepper. Shake to coat the meat.
2. Place beef and remaining ingredients into slow cooker.
3. Set on “high,” cook for 7-8 hours until beef is tender and potatoes are soft. Remove bay leaves and enjoy!