“California” Beef Stew

No, this recipe didn’t originate on the west coast, nor is it made with happy cows from the cheese commercial; this was yet another attempt to make something new with things I already had on hand [and in my new Dutch oven], including a partial package of beef stew meat and several bags of frozen California blend vegetables. I added some zesty flavors, and……voila! A new stew was born. Enjoy!

  • 1 1/2 to 2 lbs beef stew meat
  • 2-3 bags California blend frozen vegetables, 28-26 oz total (I used 2 mixed and 1 cauliflower)
  • 1 large or 2 small cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies OR 1 cup salsa
  • 1 onion, diced (1/2 cup)
  • 2 cups beef (or vegetable) broth
  • 2-4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2-4 tbsp red wine (optional)
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1-2 tsp paprika
  • dash of hot sauce (optional)
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Add all ingredients to Dutch oven or slow cooker. For stove top, cook on medium until meat is done, then simmer on low for 1 1/2 to 2 hours (until carrots are done). For slow cooker, cook all day on low or 4-5 hours on high. If needed, stir in 2 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/3 cup water to thicken.

Leftovers on the 3rd day got water, seasonings, and ditalini added and became this lovely vegetable beef soup!