If you haven't noticed, I've been really into stews and soups this year.  I love that I can make them early in the day and they'll be ready at dinner time after simmering all day.  They make the house smell great and they make us feel good on a chilly night.

I served this stew to my friends on a casual weeknight dinner along with an Apple and Cranberry Crisp.  It was the perfect Fall dinner.  Warm fuzzies : )

Braised Beef & Italian Vegetable Stew

New! Printable Recipes, here.

1/4 pound of bacon, diced
1/4 yellow onion, quartered
2 pounds of beef stew meat
6 cloves of garlic, rough mince
2 cups of red wine
4 cups of beef broth
1 large can of whole tomatoes, broken up, without juice
4 bay leaves
4 carrots, medium dice
3 cups of fresh spinach (1 cup frozen)
2 cups of shredded cabbage
1/2 pound of cavatappi pasta

crusty bread
olive oil
garlic clove
parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 250 degrees.

In a large dutch oven, cook bacon, rendering fat.  Add beef and sear stew meat and onions on high heat, for 2-3 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for 30 more seconds.  Add red wine, broth, tomatoes and bay leaves.  Remove from heat, cover and put it into the oven.

Slow cook in the oven at 250 degrees for at least 4, but up to 6-8 hours.

Remove the stew from the oven when the meat is tender and shredding.  Remove the bay leaves.  Add carrots, spinach, cabbage and pasta to the pot and cook on the stove top for 20 minutes until the vegetables and pasta are tender.

Serve with garlic french bread.  Slice the bread, drizzle with olive oil and place it on a sheet pan.  Put under the broiler for 1-2 minutes until toasted.  Rub with a garlic clove.