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I recently came across some Mexican oregano which I am loving. It actually isn’t oregano at all, but a North American herb with slightly more intense flavors that are reminiscent of thyme, sage and mint, as well as oregano. Apparently in Mexico it is simply referred to as oregano. Anyway, if you can’t find it, use the same quantity of regular oregano in it’s place, but if you can, do try it because it’s a great addition to our somewhat limited herb/spice cupboard.
Anyone who has visited my site will know I have a fondness for stews and this one is no exception. We’ve been tucking into it throughout the winter. You may look twice at the quantity of anchovies used, however the stew can take it and I promise you won’t be the least bit overwhelmed by their addition. They give a wonderful depth of flavor alongside the garlic and herbs and if you’ve never tried beef with anchovies and kale before, you are in for a treat.
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil or other solid fat, divided
- 2 lb beef stewing meat
- 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 3 large stalks celery, chopped
- 4 large cloves garlic, minced
- 4 medium carrots, chopped into ¾-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano (see note above)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 large bay leaf
- 50 g anchovy fillets in olive oil, chopped
- 2¼ cups rich bone broth
- ½ large bunch green kale, chopped
- Pinch sea salt if needed
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of fat in a large, heavy-bottomed casserole (Dutch oven) and brown the meat in batches. Remove the pieces and set aside.
- Add the remaining fat to the casserole and, on a gentle heat, cook the onions for around 5 minutes until they are starting to soften. If, at any point, your pan is a little over-brown and parched, a tablespoon of water will release the sediment. This also gives extra flavor.
- Now add the next 8 ingredients and stir. Return the meat, pour in the broth, then mix again and bring everything to a simmer.
- Put the lid on the casserole and place on the center oven rack for 1 hour and 50 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, add kale, poking it down into the liquid, and return for around 10 minutes with the lid on. Kale should be wilted but retain its color.
- Taste and add a sprinkle of sea salt if necessary, although I think you may well find the anchovies have made it salty enough.