I totally had another holiday inspired recipe planned to share with you today, one filled with festive holiday flavors like eggnog and cranberries, but at the last minute decided to change things up and share this Cowboy Bean and Beef Stew instead.
What made me change my mind you ask? Well the past few days I have been indulging in an excessive amount of, no not holiday sweets, but cheesy Hallmark Channel style holiday films.
I can honestly say that I am a total sap and love all the warm feelings that the holiday season brings, and so these fairy tale holiday movies make me so happy in the simplest of ways.
Plus, since I love in Texas, and rarely have to deal with icy/snowy weather, let alone real winter weather temperatures (well, for the most part) I get mesmerized by the picture-perfect winter wonderlands on display in these movies.
These movies have me dreaming and wishing I loved somewhere, anywhere, where I could have a white Christmas. I mean wouldn’t that be simply the icing on the cake for this magical time of year?
But then, we actually get a rare arctic blast, and get the coldest temperatures we have had in almost two years. And my Texas soul is put in shock when I have to walk my dog when it is below 30 degrees and a wind chill in the teens. And I think how miserable it would be to have to walk my dog 3-4 times a day in the snow. And how we would have to shovel the walk and dig our cars out of the snow for 20 minutes just to run to the store to get milk.
And then I wake up out of my holidaze and realize that as a Texas girl, I would not be able to survive the snow, despite how much I love the thought of a white Christmas.
Anyways, since most of us are dealing with the same arctic blast, most of you with way colder temps than us here in Texas, I thought a hearty stew recipe was needed more than my holiday recipe (that, don’t worry, I’ll share next week.).
I actually stumbled upon this Cowboy Bean and Beef Stew recipe by accident. We had a dinner party with friends a few weeks ago, and my husband wanted to make our new favorite baked bean recipe. We absolutely love that baked bean recipe, but it makes enough to feed an army. So, we had a ton of baked beans leftover that I popped in the freezer. While I had intended on saving the beans to go with another meal, I needed room in my freezer, so I was looking up recipes using baked beans.
That’s when I found this Cowboy Bean and Beef Stew recipe and actually had everything else on hand to make it. This beef stew is hearty, slightly sweet, slightly spicy, and the perfect “warm you up” dinner when it is freezing outside! In fact, we have now made it three times in the course of three weeks, so I’d say that it’s chilly weather approved!
- ½ tablespoon coconut or canola oil
- 6 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 pound ground sirloin
- 1 teaspoon beef rub
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 medium Idaho or russet potatoes, peeled and diced into bite sized
- 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 Anaheim pepper, seeded and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
- ½ teaspoon each Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2-3 cups low sodium beef stock
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 (15-ounce) cans baked beans*
- 1 (14-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 large bay leaf
- 2-3 scallions, thinly sliced, for serving
- Cornbread, for serving
- Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon, cook until crispy and brown, about 3-4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon remove bacon from pot and transfer to a paper towel lined plate, set aside.
- Drain all excess bacon grease, leaving approximately 1 tablespoon grease in pot. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon or metal spatula, until cooked through and no longer pink, about 5-6 minutes.
- Stir in beef rub and diced onions. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes and carrots and cook for 7-8 minutes. Stir in chopped chiles and minced garlic, and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Season vegetable mixture liberally with chili powder, salt and pepper. Stir in 2 cups beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, baked beans (do not drain), diced tomatoes, bay leaf and cooked bacon. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer stew for 20-30 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender and the stew has thickened to desired consistency; add additional salt, pepper or beef stock, if needed.
- Remove bay leaf and serve stew topped with sliced scallions and with a side of cornbread, if desired.
Reheat leftover stew with a little extra beef stock, if needed, to loosen up stew and cook through without burning.
*Four cups leftover homemade baked beans can be substituted for the store bought canned baked beans.
Serving Suggestion: Serve with Boston Market Cornbread or Brown Butter Cornbread and a side salad like this Pear and Pomegranate Salad with Maple Vinaigrette or Kale Salad with Creamy Anchovy Dressing.
Recipe inspired by and adapted from The Food Network
Like this Cowboy Bean and Beef Stew, then you’ll love these other soup, stew and chili recipes!