My Dutch Oven Mediterranean Beef Stew is the epitome of comfort food. With such delicious flavours, it is a one-pot meal, complete on its own, with cubes of beef, simmered until meltingly tender, in a rich tomato sauce with fresh vegetables and herbs.
pasta, noodles, mashed potato, rice, crusty bread or a green salad.See Note 5
Cut your meat into cut into 3 ½ cm (1 ¼ " cubes) or buy pre-cut meat.
Pat the cubed meat dry with paper towels. This will help the meat to form a nice brown crust when seared.Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil, over high heat, in a large, heavy-based Dutch Oven or saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. The oil should not smoke. You will notice that the oil is hot and ready to use when it begins to shimmer.
Add ⅓ of the beef to the pan. Brown the meat for several minutes on all sides. See Note 6.
Remove the meat to a plate and set it aside. Repeat with the remaining beef, adding more oil if necessary.
Turn the heat down to low. Add a little extra oil if necessary.Add the onion and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the garlic and cook a further minute and stir again to ensure the garlic doesn’t burn.
Return the cooked beef, including any juices, to the pan.Add the tomatoes, beef stock, rosemary and chilli flakes (if using). Stir well.
Bring to a simmer, cover the pan, lower the heat so the meat barely bubbles, and cook for 1 ½ – 2 hours or until the meat is almost at perfect tenderness. Stir occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Add the zucchini and capsicum, stir well and cover again. Cook for 30 minutes. Stir halfway through and add a little water if necessary.
Add the olives and 2 tablespoons of parsley. See Note 7.Check the seasoning, adding additional salt, pepper or chilli flakes to taste.
Turn into a serving dish or serve, family-style, at the table in the pan in which it was cooked.Add some extra parsley just before serving.Serve with rice, mashed potato, crusty bread or buttered noodles. See Note 8.
Stewing beef: for long, slow cooking, choose a cut such as chuck steak or boneless shin/shank/gravy beef. Lean meats do not suit this method of cookery; they will become tough and dry.
Olive oil: start cooking the beef with 2 tablespoons of oil and add extra if you need it to finish cooking the beef or when adding the onion.
Tablespoon: we use a standard Australian tablespoon which is 20 ml (4 teaspoons).
Beef stock: you can use homemade or good-quality beef stock. If you don’t have beef stock, you can use chicken stock. The flavour may not be quite as robust, so adjust your seasoning accordingly.
Seasoning: adjust the seasoning to your liking – we recommend using freshly ground black pepper and sea salt flakes for the best flavour.
Browning the meat: it is important to not “play” with the meat. If you try to turn it too soon it will stick to the pan. It will turn easily when it has formed a brown crust. This is an exercise that requires patience. If moved too much, the meat will release its juices and steam rather than fry. Browning the beef gives the meat an appetizing colour and adds tremendous depth of flavour.
Parsley: to obtain maximum flavour and freshness of the parsley, add it at the end of cooking.
Butterednoodles: boil the pasta of your choice until it is al dente, toss in a bowl with some butter, salt, pepper and chopped parsley.
Nutritional information: does not include what the dish is served with.