Rustic Beef Stew with Polenta and Green Beans

beef stew with polenta and green beans from Lesser Homes & Gardens

This is my new favorite cold weather stew. It has a great hearty texture and rich flavor. The recipe is adapted from the Rustic Italian Beef Stew recipe in the Pampered Chef Soups and Stews cookbook. I’ve made four recipes out of that cookbook and they have all been great so far! I’ve also included the accompaniments for the stew – polenta and pan cooked green beans.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours
Serves 6-8



1 1/2 large sweet onions

1 cup julienne sliced sun-dried tomatoes, drained of oil

3/4 cup dry red wine

3 TBSP tomato paste

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups beef stock ( I use 1 1/2 cups water plus 2 tsp Better Than Bouillon beef base)

2 TBSP olive oil

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 TBSP finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves

2 tsp chopped fresh garlic

3 1/2 pound beef pot roast, cut into 1 inch cubes


5 cups water

1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal ( I like Golden Pheasant brand)

1 tsp salt

4 TBSP (1/2 stick) butter

1 cup fresh grated parmesan or Romano cheese


1 pound fresh green beans, cleaned and trimmed

1/2 large onion (leftover from stew ingredients) finely chopped

2-3 TBSP olive oil

2 tsp chopped fresh garlic

1/2 tsp kosher salt



  1.  Preheat oven to 350. Place chopped onions and drained sun-dried tomatoes into an enameled cast iron dutch oven or similar oven-proof lidded vessel.
  2. In a medium bowl combine wine, tomato paste and flour, whisking into well mixed. Add beef stock and whisk well, pour into  baking dish.
  3. Cut beef into 1 inch cubes and place in a large bowl.
  4. In a small dish combine olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and rosemary. Pour over beef and toss to combine. Add beef mixture to baking dish.
  5. Cook covered for one hour. Remove from oven, stir stew and return to oven. Cook an additional 2 hours or until beef is tender.
  6. During the last 30 minutes of cooking begin the side dishes. Wash and trim green beans. Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion and saute 5 minutes, until onions become translucent. Add garlic and green beans. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for an additional 10 minutes or until green beans are tender and onions are slightly browned.
  7. While green beans are cooking start 5 cups of water to simmer for polenta. Add salt and whisk in cornmeal. Cook 4-5 minutes, whisking constantly until thick. Remove from heat. Add butter and cheese.
  8. Serve immediately. Place a spoonful of polenta on each plate, topped with stew and green beans along side. Enjoy!
beef stew with polenta and green beans from Lesser Homes & Gardens

The cookbook suggests baking in the Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker. If you don’t have one, a cast iron Dutch oven will work fine.



Beef Stroganoff – WITHOUT the Canned Soup

Everything into the pot!

I bought a nice beef pot roast at Costco yesterday to make beef stroganoff in my crock pot. Since I’m doing an all scratch cooking diet, that means no onion soup mix or canned cream of mushroom soup.

I looked up a few recipes online, but most had canned cream soups.  So I decided to wing it and make up my own.

Here’s what I did:

  1. Mix flour with a little salt and pepper in a gallon size zip-lock bag
  2. Cut the beef into cubes
  3. Dredge the beef in the flour and brown in a skillet with olive oil

    Sean wouldn't eat his. Luckily that meant I got a photo of the finished product.

  4. Place the beef in the crock pot
  5. Brown up sliced onion and mushrooms in the leftover drippings
  6. Add the veggies to the crock pot
  7. Add 1/2 cup of hot water mixed with 2 tsp of beef bouillon paste (Better Than Bouillon brand)
  8. Set the cooker to low for six hours.
  9. When it’s time to serve dinner, boil some wide egg noodles.
  10. Stir in 1/2 cup of sour cream to the beef just before serving.

It was creamy and good, and not too salty since there was no mushroom soup mix.  You can always add more salt at the table – that’s my philosophy.