Ranchero Beef Stew is the recipe of the week this week! I can’t believe its already week four of my “52 Week Cookbook Challenge.” If you have been following along, you’ll know I started this challenge to force myself to actually cook out of my extensive cookbook collection instead of just look at them. For the full list of recipes with links click here.
Given that we have finally gotten some colder weather here in San Diego (I know, I know, its not really cold compared to the rest of the country), Beef Stew was in order — specifically “Ranchero Beef Stew” which is a really unique and incredibly tasty version of beef stew. This week is kind of bending my rules a bit (I am supposed to cook NEW things) – but this recipe is just so easy and different and good I had to share. This recipe comes from my Bon Appetit: Fast, Easy, Fresh cookbook. Overall I have used this book quite a few times, it has lots of quick and easy recipes. This one is my favorite.
So a few notes, if you want to feed more than four people you should definitely double or at least do one and a half the amount listed. It also freezes well. As usual, after cooking this many times I have adjusted a few things, including adding the olives later, including an extra carrot, and longer cook time. See my instructions below.
Ranchero Beef Stew
1 tablespoon olive oil for searing beef
1 pound beef stew meat (cut small to cook faster)
1 large onion chopped
3 carrots chopped
1 15 oz can stewed or diced tomatoes
1 cup beef broth (I use chicken usually because its what I have on hand)
1 4 oz can diced green chilies
3 Cloves Garlic
1/2 Cup (or more if you love them) sliced green pimento olives (this is the secret!)
2 Tablespoons oregano
1/2 Cup chopped cilantro (optional)
Sour cream to serve (amazing)
salt and pepper to taste
Ranchero Beef Stew Steps:
Using a heavy pan (I use a dutch oven) oil and sear your meat until browned. I pretty liberally salt the meat before cooking.
Next, add carrots onion and garlic and saute for a few minutes once the onions are translucent and you have that amazing garlic and onion smell in the air, add the tomatoes, chilies, broth, and oregano. Bring to a boil and then cover and turn to low.
So the recipe says 1 hr. But I say you need way longer if you like your meat tender. My suggestion is cook 1.5 hours and then add your olives and cook for another 30 minutes. Depending on how tender you like your beef it might need longer.
Taste it and add salt if needed.
Before serving, you can either add the cilantro directly to the stew, or you can serve it on the side with sour cream.
You can serve this on its own or over some egg noodles.