Trader Joes is an amazing place.
While shopping I walked along the meat aisle and picked up some grass fed beef. The price was amazing and the quality was superb.
1.5 lbs of stew meat for $7. For Grass Fed beef that is quite a bargain. I haven’t gotten rich enough to try the strips or fillet mignons but I plan on it!!!
With the NY weather getting a lil cooler and night sky falling earlier, I made some hearty beef stew.
Traditionally I make Carne Guisada, a spanish style beef stew, but not feeling like playing by the rules, I just threw stuff in the pot and came out with a regular ol beef stew. But it was quite yuM! I started by seasoning the beef with garlic and onion powder and some flour to coat. I love beef stew but find that the beef dries out so I intend to sear the beef and set it aside until i am ready to simmer the sauce. The flour will help seal in the juices.

I heated some oil with store-bought Sofrito. (hoping to get Natalie‘s recipe for the homemade stuff- apparently the homemade stuff is waaay better than the store-bought stuff…. nataliei’m waiting! lol)
Once the pot was screaming hot, I added the beef and let it sear. Once it was “cooked” on the outside, I removed the beef and was left with a sticky mess in the pot.

I added a bit of red wine to de-glaze the pot and help pick up all the yummy bits that were stuck to the pot.

It worked really well!
I then added an 8 oz can of tomato sauce, salt and pepper, onion and garlic powder (if needed), 1 chopped up potato, 1/2 a bag of baby carrots and 2 cups of water.
I let it come to a boil then i lowered the heat and added the beef.
I let it simmer for 20 mins or so (or until potatoes and carrots are fork tender).

I always taste as it is cooking to properly tweak the recipe. Taste it to know how much or how little of something you want to add. This is good on its own or with a little rice.

Lots of leftovers! And plenty to feed Roomie and Boyfriend; both enjoyed the beef stew.
If your looking for an easy, filling stew- here it is. it freezes well too.
Oh and in case you were wondering- searing the beef was totally worth it!
side note: I am so devastated by Patrick Swayze’s death. I can recite the entire script of Dirty Dancing and will always squeal like a lil girl when I hear him say “Nobody puts baby in the corner!”