Balsamic Beef Stew

balsamicbeefstew

Even though I’m not a big meat-eater, I seem to have an affinity for beef stew. Especially when the days get as cold as the ones we’ve had lately, there is nothing better than a hearty stew to stick to your ribs and keep you warm. Last night’s dinner of Balsamic Beef Stew went above and beyond my expectations, and couldn’t have been simpler to make!

You may remember the Kerala-style beef stew that I posted here a while ago. My one (easily addressed) complaint with that recipe is that the beef isn’t slow cooked, resulting in tougher cubes of meat. This recipe is intended for the slow cooker, both to help the meat get fall-apart tender and to meld the incredible flavors packed into the soup.

I know that some people use red wine in beef stew to bring a hint of acidity and a little richness to the broth. The addition of just three tablespoons of balsamic vinegar instead just took me by complete surprise. Not only did it bring a rich body to the broth (thanks also, in part, to the addition of tomatoes), but it also gave it the most pleasant tang!

You can really use any kind of vegetable in this recipe — I skipped the root veggies and instead just went with sweet potato (I live with a carrot-hater… compromises). The herbs are really what make this dish special though — fresh rosemary and thyme give the soup a fresh, earthy flavor that I loved. And the best part is, I have plenty of leftovers to last me another day or two! Yum.

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