Beef-Stew Casserole


2 medium-sized onions
1 large carrot
1 large celery stalk
olive or salad oil
3 pounds beef for stew, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1 small orange
10 black peppercorns
2 parsley sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 beef-flavor bouillon cube or envelope
1 bunch collard greens (1 pound) or 1 10-ounce bag spinach
1 cup plain croutons


Dice onions, carrot, and celery. In 5-quart Dutch oven over medium high heat, in 2 tablespoons hot olive or salad oil, cook beef for stew, one third at a time, until well browned. With slotted spoon, remove meat to plate as it browns. In drippings remaining in Dutch oven (adding more oil if necessary), cook onions, carrot, and celery until lightly browned. Meanwhile, prepare spice bag: from orange, with vegetable peeler, cut a 6 inch long strip of peel. Squeeze juice from orange; reserve. Cut a double thickness of 5 inch square cheesecloth; on it, place orange peel strip, pepper corns, parsley sprigs , and bay leaf. Pull corners up to form small bag and tie securely with colorfast or undyed cotton string. Cut each potato into halves or quarters. return meat to Dutch oven; add spice bag, potatoes, red wine vinegar, salt, bouillon, orange juice, and 3 cups water. Over high heat, heat to boiling. Cover; bake in 350 F. oven for 1 hour. Trim tough stems from collard greens; coarsely chop. Stir collard greens into meat mixture in Dutch oven; bake, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes longer until meat is fork tender. To serve, discard spice bag. Stir in croutons to thicken liquid slightly.

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