Sweet and Saucy Beef

My mom used to have this yellow plastic bin of printed recipe cards that I would leaf through and organize, pretending I was a librarian in charge of a card catalogue (yep, I had a lot of friends) and when I wasn’t forcing my brother to play along, I was hanging out in the kitchen.  Out of those hundreds of cards, my mom had a few that were go-to recipes, and this is a version of one of those. She made it a lot when we were growing up but I hadn’t eaten it in years when it popped into my head as something my sauce-loving kids might like.  

This sauce is full of veggies and has a soft, buttery sweetness to it.  The acid in the tomatoes tenderizes the beef, and the carrots melt into the sauce. We like it over a little pasta, but you can easily serve it on its own with grilled veggies and maybe a hunk French bread to mop up that delicious glossy tomato sauce.  

Sweet and Saucy Beef

2 pounds beef strips or beef cubes, cut in pieces if large

½ stick butter

1 small onion, chopped or grated

1 red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, sliced or chopped

1 carrot, grated

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 28-oz can whole tomatoes (I like San Marzano) or crushed tomatoes

Shredded cheddar cheese, for serving

Cooked pasta or egg noodles (optional)

Melt 3 Tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Season the beef with salt and pepper and brown in the butter for a few minutes while you prep the veggies.  Add the onion, pepper, carrot, and garlic. Cook for a few more minutes until the vegetables begin to soften, then add the Worcestershire sauce and tomatoes (crush by hand if using whole).  Bring to a bubble, then cover and keep at a low simmer for at least 30 minutes. The longer you simmer, the more tender your beef will be. Turn off the heat, and swirl in another tablespoon of butter right before serving.  Add a sprinkle of shredded cheddar to finish it off. Serves 6.

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