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Wee Kick Beef Stew

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“I discovered the "wee kick" a can of Rotel adds to stew just by accident, when I was making a beef stew but had no regular canned tomatoes on hand, but did have several tins of Rotel since I had stocked up on a trip to the U.S. (it's not sold here in Canada). It doesn't add a fiery kick, just a pleasant addition of some heat, making this stew a little different than most. But if you just want a great beef stew, by all means make this recipe without the Rotel. I'm sure you'll like it, with or without the canned tomatoes!”
3hrs 40mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. You'll notice there is no salt in this recipe, other than that used in the flour mixture; I typically use canned beef stock and I find it salty enough.
  2. If you cannot find Rotel, use a can of Mexican stewed tomatoes (but it likely won't have the kick); if you don't want any hot-pepper flavour in your stew, use regular stewed tomatoes, or just leave them completely out.
  3. Canned stewed tomatoes are typically in larger tins than the Rotel, but the extra won't matter; don't worry about it.
  4. I use the Bouquet Garni spice from Penzeys for this, which is a spice blend containing savory, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, dill, marjoram, sage and tarragon; if you don't have a similar spice mix, I recommend using savory, rosemary and thyme to make up the two teaspoons.
  5. Okay, let's start the prep work.
  6. First, thickly slice the onions and place on a plate; on the side of the plate place the thinly sliced garlic cloves; set aside.
  7. Next, place the other vegetables in a bowl as you chop them, and set aside.
  8. Now you'll have to cube the beef, if you haven't bought it already cubed.
  9. In a clean plastic bag (check to make sure it has no holes), place the flour, salt, and pepper; shake the beef cubes in the flour mixture so each piece is lightly coated.
  10. Preheat oven to 300F.
  11. Now, the cooking starts: get out a large Dutch oven and put in on your burner over high heat; lightly coat the bottom with olive oil.
  12. Brown the beef cubes in the oil, removing them to a plate as they brown--you will likely have to do this in about 3 batches, depending on the size of your pot; add olive oil to the pot as needed.
  13. When all the beef has been browned, add the onions to the pot (adding some oil, if needed, to prevent them from burning or sticking) and let cook, stirring a bit, for about one minute; then add the garlic slices and stir them around for a minute.
  14. Reduce heat to medium and add about 1/2 cup of the beef stock and about half of the wine; let bubble, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to get up and dissolve all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan (where a lot of flavour lives; you want that in your stew, not on the bottom of the pot).
  15. Now add everything else to the pot, including of course the browned beef, stirring well to combine.
  16. Put the lid on the pot and place in the middle of the preheated oven and cook for a minimum of two hours (3 is even better); beef should be very tender.
  17. Check and stir once every hour; after two hours, taste the stew (be careful, it's very hot) and add a sprinkle of salt if you think it needs it.
  18. When done, you can serve as is, or thicken it on top of the stove with a little flour-water mixture if you wish; it all depends on your personal preference.

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