Italian Beef Stew (AIP and Paleo)

It was raining here yesterday, a cool reprieve from the summer heat. Stew seemed like the thing to do, so I created this basil-filled version that is hearty and nourishing, free from night-shades too.

1 lb. beef cubes, preferably organic or grass-fed

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 rutabaga, cubed

2 small white sweet potatoes, cubed

1-3 cups bone broth or water

1 garlic clove, minced

2 T. dried basil

2 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried thyme

sea salt

Over medium heat, place a large saucepan, drop in a dollop of fat to pan, I used reserved bacon drippings for extra flavor. Season beef with sea salt. When pan is hot, add half of the beef in one layer so that each piece of beef touches the bottom of the pan. Do not stir until beef browns on this side, about 5 minutes. Stir and cook another minute. Remove from pan and set aside in separate bowl. Brown second half of meat and then set aside.

Be sure to not let the bottom of the pan burn, browning is GREAT, burning is not. In the same saucepan, add diced onions and a pinch of sea salt, stir and turn heat to medium-low. Stir occasionally. When onions are soft, add celery, a pinch of sea salt, garlic, and herbs, Stir. Add rutabaga and sweet potato, a heavy pinch of sea salt and stir. Add beef back to pan, top with broth. Add enough water to barely cover everything. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes or until vegetables are soft.