Cut the fat and concentrate the taste with a few simple changes in an old standby beef stew recipe. Choose leaner cuts of beef whenever possible, cook vegetables in wine instead of butter, and you will find you have a fresh-tasting hearty meal.

You will need

Vegetable Oil or Cooking Spray

1 to 1 1/2 pounds of well-trimmed beef rump or top round, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup of dry red wine (Please, do not use anything labeled 'cooking wine. If it isn't good to drink, don't use it.
1/2 cup each chopped onion, celery, and carrot
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup reduced-sodium (I love Herb Oz with 0 sodium- mix one packet in 1 cup hot water) or homemade beef broth
1 cup canned, drained, plum tomatoes, chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme,parsley or basil,or a pinch of dried thyme
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 small new potatoes
2 packed tablespoons fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley leaves plus tender stems
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, stripped from stems, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 cup peeled, cubed parsnips
1 cup trimmed,peeled baby carrots
1 cup trimmed, cut fresh green beans
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat a large, 4 to 5 quart, non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat until hot enough to evaporate a drop of water upon contact. Spray the bottom of the pan lightly with vegetable-oil cooking spray. Add the pieces of meat, a few chunks at a time. Cook, turning until browned on all sides. About 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add the wine to the pan and boil 2 minutes. Add the carrot, onion, celery, and 1 of the garlic cloves. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until tender, about 10 minutes.
Add the broth, tomatoes, and thyme sprig, or other herbs. Return the browned meat and any juices in the dish to the saucepan. Cover and cook over low heat until the meat is fork-tender, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove the meat to a side dish and cover with foil. Transfer the vegetables and juices to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Return to the saucepan, add the meat, cover and keep warm.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium, 8 to 10 inch, skillet over medium heat until hot enough to sizzle a piece of potato. Add the potatoes, cut sides down, cover and cook over medium-low heat until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Uncover and turn heat to medium-high. Cook the potatoes, turning, until golden brown on all sides,about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to a side dish. Finely chop the parsley, thyme leaves and remaining garlic clove together, add to the potatoes and toss to coat.
While the potatoes are cooking, add 1 inch of water to a large, 4 quart, saucepan. Set a folding steamer basket over the water. Place the parsnips, carrots, and green beans in the basket. Cover and steam about 10 minutes or until fork tender. Remove the basket from the saucepan.
Season the meat and blended sauce with salt and pepper. Add the steamed vegetables and toss to coat. Add the potatoes and stir just to blend.
Server immediately. Makes about 4 servings with only 427 calories per serving and about 204 mg of sodium

The extra few steps in this recipe create a depth of flavor that you would traditionally get only by cooking everything together for a long time, such as in a crock pot. While it may seem from the reading that this is a complicated process, you will be surprised at how quickly you can pull this dish together. I hope you will give it a try soon.

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