Beef Stew 1

1-1/2 lb lean beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tsp olive or vegetable oil
1 large onion, cut into thin wedges
2 garlic cloves, minced
One 28 oz can plum tomatoes, undrained, coarsely chopped
1 large baking potato, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks (2 cups)
2/3 cup picante sauce
1 tsp basil leaves
1/2 tsp oregano leaves
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1 large green pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large zucchini, sliced 1-1/2 inch thick (2 cups)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Place meat on rack of broiler pan. Broil 4 inches from heat until lightly browned, turning once. Heat oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 3 minutes. Add meat, tomatoes, potato, picante sauce, basil, oregano and, if desired, salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until meat is tender, about 1 hour. Stir in green pepper and zucchini; continue to simmer until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls; sprinkle with cheese. Serve with additional picante sauce.

Makes about 8 cups.

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Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana