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Vegetable Stew with Braised Beef Shanks

Ok. So I will admit that this time I got so carried away and excited about my stew that I moved directly from cooking to enjoying without even taking a picture! What can I say? I LOVE THIS RECIPE! I enjoy a thick stew consistency rather than a thinner soup. This is a hearty meal, loaded with vegetables, tender beef, and a wonderful flavor make this great for cool nights or snowy days.

1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
4 Beef Shanks
3 Small Potatoes, chopped
1/2 Medium Onion, finely chopped
2 Large Carrots, finely cubed
1 cup Frozen Peas
1 cup Frozen Corn Kernels
1 quart Whole Tomatoes
Dried Oregano

1. In a dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. While the oil is heating, sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the beef shanks. Place the shanks into the hot oil to sear the meat.
2. Allow the shanks to cook until they easily release from the pan. The meat should not cook through, but just sear and render some juices to the pan.
3. After both sides have seared, remove the meat from the pan and set aside.
4. Place the finely chopped onions and cubed carrots into the drippings. Stir the vegetables to cover with oil. Allow the vegetables to soften while chopping the potatoes.
5. After 3 minutes, add tomatoes to the pot. Using the end of your spoon, break the tomatoes into smaller pieces.
6. Add in the remaining vegetables.
7. Season the vegetables with salt, pepper, and oregano. I go light on the salt as I prefer the natural vegetable flavors. I do however season heavily with pepper and oregano. Notice that I am not going to give a measurement for the seasonings. This is something that I believe is a very personal decision. I use approximately 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and 1 teaspoon oregano.
8. Place shanks back in the stew.
9. Cover the dutch oven with its lid and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
10. Remove shanks from stew. Allow to slightly cool before pulling meat from the bones. Remove all fat pockets from the tender meat. Add meat back to the stew.

Serve the stew with saltine crackers and enjoy!


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