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italianbeefandbeansoverpastaban.jpg

Last week was the debut of Tammy’s Italian Beef and Beans at our house.  Her suggestion is to serve it over pasta.  You can see that in her beautiful photo above.  I actually chose to serve it as a soup.  Although, I think it would have worked out well to add pasta to the soup.

I doubled the recipe, and the only thing I changed from her original is that I only used two cans of tomatoes and omitted the red pepper flakes.  I could have sworn I had two large cans of tomatoes in my pantry.  While my ground beef was browning I realized that I actually had, um, none.  Mom to the rescue!  My mom lives in an apartment attached to our house, and I cannot begin to tell you what a blessing that is for all of us.  And quite convenient when I realize I am out of tomatoes mid-browning.  When I asked if she had any canned tomatoes, she happily offered one can.  I just didn’t have the heart to tell her I actually needed four.  I could only bring myself to ask for one more.  As it turned out, I think four would have been too much for my tastes.

The final verdict:  While it didn’t blow me away, we enjoyed it and I will make it again.  And really, when has a tomato beef stew ever blown me away?  Never.  Ok, then this is a keeper.  It is actually quite similar to another beef and black bean soup that I make, but with a slightly different combo of veggies, beans and seasonings.  Always good to keep things simple, yet interesting.

I appreciated that the recipe was easy to double, hearty enough to just add bread and salad or fruit and call it dinner, and like most stew type dishes, tasted even better the next day.

Italian Beef and Beans

(I doubled this to feed my family of seven, and we had leftovers.)

1 pound ground beef

2 large carrots, peeled and chopped

2 ribs celery, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced (I always press mine.)

2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes (or 4 cups fresh) (I used only 1 can for a single recipe and felt it was plenty.)

2 cups beef broth or water (I had to use water – I was out of broth.)

2 teaspoons brown sugar (I used sucanat.)

2 15.5 oz. cans of beans (Tammy suggests red or white kidneys or black beans.  I used all red kidneys.)

1 1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning (I don’t own this, so I just threw in two palmfuls of some combo of oregano, parsley and basil.)

1/2 to 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (I omitted these as my family is wimpy when it comes to heat, so I don’t even own them.)

1 1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste

In a large stock pot, brown your beef and drain.  (I always buy local, grass-fed beef which is lean, and I figure the fat is healthy, so I just brown the beef while I cook the veggies and skip the draining altogether.)  Dump in everything but the salt.

Simmer for 45 minutes – 1 hour to finish cooking veggies and allow the flavors to develop.  Add salt to taste.

Thank you Tammy for yet another winner!

Enjoy!

 

 

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