Wee Kick Beef Stew

"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!"
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Ready In:
3hrs 40mins




  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Canned stewed tomatoes are typically in larger tins than the Rotel, but the extra won't matter; don't worry about it.
  • 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.
  • Okay, let's start the prep work.
  • First, thickly slice the onions and place on a plate; on the side of the plate place the thinly sliced garlic cloves; set aside.
  • Next, place the other vegetables in a bowl as you chop them, and set aside.
  • Now you'll have to cube the beef, if you haven't bought it already cubed.
  • 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.
  • Preheat oven to 300F.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Now add everything else to the pot, including of course the browned beef, stirring well to combine.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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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I have been sharing recipes here at Recipezaar since October 2001. You won't see me around anymore, although if you're an old-school Zaarite you'll remember that in the past, you couldn't shut me up!
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