On these cool wintery days I find myself craving comfort food. Gravy, mashed potatoes, buttery peas, and homemade desserts. The sort of food that you just can't find when you eat out.
Here is a recipe born out of desire. Just kidding. Well...maybe not. I was in the mood for something a bit like beef stew, but I didn't have the time or ingredients to make beef burgundy. So I took some elements that are usually present, trimmed it down and created another dish. My sister said she likes this better. I am not so sure, but it is up there. This has more tomato flavor, and a thick, rich gravy envelopes the small bits of meat. Some creamy, buttery mashed potatoes make the perfect vehicle for this gravy. And like I said, throw some buttery peas up in there and you have a deliciously comforting dinner in about 35 minutes. Not bad.
Beef with Tomato Gravy
2 Tablespoon bacon grease, plus 4 Tablespoons
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 lb beef stew meat, chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup flour, plus 1/4 cup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon espresso powder
1 12 oz can tomato sauce
4 teaspoons beef bouillon
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 cup brown sugar
1 cup carrots, thinly sliced
1 sprig thyme (about 4 inches)
Chopped parsley for garnish
Heat 2 Tablespoons bacon grease in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat with onion. Cook until onion is soft. Combine 1/4 cup flour with salt and pepper. Dredge beef pieces. Drop into hot fat and cook for 4-6 minutes, until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon. Meanwhile, mix tomato sauce, beef bouillon, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar with enough water to equal four cups. Heat in the microwave or in a saucepan.
Add 4 Tablespoons bacon grease or butter to pan drippings and melt. Add 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder, and whisk, cooking until dark brown.
Add heated tomato sauce mixture, whisking until smooth. Add beef, carrots, and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and continue cooking for about 20 minutes more.
Serve over mashed potatoes or rice.
Garnish with fresh parsley.
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