The last time I made stew it was for the Artist’s birthday party celebration.  Two or three hours prior to the party, the Artist decided there wasn’t enough food and headed out to the store to buy beef.  I turned the cubes of stew beef into the evening’s most popular dish – beef stew on top of mashed potatoes.  It was simple, delicious, and hearty.

The Artist went slightly overboard, buying a few extra pounds of stewed beef.  The extra few pounds went into the freezer, until last week.  I transferred the beef to the refrigerator, to thaw, and tried to think on a new twist for the beef stew.  Glancing in my pantry, I located a can of black beans, a can of roasted tomatoes and sweet potatoes.  The Southwestern Beef Stew turned out to be another success!


Southwestern Beef Stew


1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 pounds stew meat, patted dry

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

4 cups beef broth

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped 1″ cube

1 14.5-ounce can black beans, with the liquid

1 14.5-ounce can  roasted diced tomatoes, with the liquid

2 carrots, sliced 1/2″-thick

1 large onion, diced

1 celery stalk, diced

4-6 garlic cloves, smashed

salt and pepper to taste


1.  Heat oil in a large, heavy bottom pot over medium high heat.  Sear meat, in batches, until golden brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.

2.  Stir in spices and cook with the meat, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

3.  Pour in broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer the meat for 1 hour.

4.  Add the rest of the ingredients, except for salt and pepper, and simmer the stew for another hour.

5.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle the stew and serve with diced avocado.  The stew reheats beautifully and could also be served over rice.  Enjoy!

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