Beef with Asparagus, Broccoli, and Carrots

Beef with Asparagus, Broccoli, and Carrots (Serves 4)

Asparagus is great, and might work as the only vegetable in a meal, but I enjoy a range of flavors when I eat. Here I am including broccoli and carrots as costars and mushrooms and onions as supporting actors.

Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes

Ingredient list:

One pound of beef for stew
One pound of fresh asparagus
6-8 ounces of broccoli florets
12 ounces of mushrooms
25 peeled baby carrots
One sweet yellow onion
4 strips of nitrate free bacon (optional)
1 ounce of capers
32-ounces of low sodium beef broth (Imagine Organic includes no sugar, cane juice, or soy)
3 cloves of garlic
Extra virgin olive oil (optional)
Crushed red pepper flakes
Balsamic vinegar
Black pepper
Turmeric
Salt

In preparation:

Slice bacon into bite-sized pieces. Chop onion, mushrooms, carrots, and broccoli into bite-sized pieces. Chop off and discard the woody end of asparagus spears and slice remainder into bite-sized pieces. Cut beef into bite-sized cubes. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Directions:

Add bite-sized pieces of bacon to bottom of Dutch oven over low heat on stove top. Turn every few minutes with a spatula until bacon browns a bit. Add chopped onions to bacon grease and let cook for a few minutes until onions begin to brown. Add beef broth, the rest of the vegetables, and the beef. Add a heavy dusting of salt, black pepper, and turmeric. Add a modest dusting of red pepper flakes (more or less depending upon how much heat you like). Press garlic into the mix or add finely chopped. Splash balsamic vinegar across the top. Add about one ounce of capers. Cover and cook in oven at 350 degrees for one hour.

Notes: You need one or the other of the ingredients listed as optional. I cooked the chopped onions in olive oil and did not use bacon, capers, or balsamic vinegar the first time I prepared this dish. The result was okay. Cooking with bacon and adding capers and balsamic vinegar adds a LOT of flavor. I may prepare this dish with chicken instead of beef broth next time on the theory that the chicken broth may bring out more flavor than the beef.

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