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I can’t imagine anything more appealing on a blustery day than a big serving of this ambrosial stew. Its robust flavors are just the thing to lift tired spirits. Serve with crusty bread, a tossed salad, and some full-bodied red wine for a memorable meal. It’s great for potlucks and outdoor get-togethers because it’s easily transportable and there is nothing to add.
Makes 8 servings


• 6 slices bacon (about 4 oounces/125 g)           
• 1/4 cup whole wheat flour      
• 1 teaspoon salt           
• 1/4 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns       
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 2 pounds trimmed stewing beef, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks        
• 2 onions, finely chopped        
• 2 stalks celery, diced  
• 2 carrots, peeled and diced    
• 4 cloves garlic, minced           
• 2 bay leaves   
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg   
• Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
• 1-1/2 cups wheat, spelt or Kamut berries         
• 1 cup dry red wine      
• 1 can (5-1/2 ounces/156 mL) tomato paste      
• 2 cups reduced-sodium beef stock      
• 1-1/2 cups water          

In a Dutch oven, over medium-high heat, sauté bacon until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. When cool, crumble and set aside. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons (25 mL) fat from pan, reserving extra.

On a plate or in a plastic bag, combine flour, salt, peppercorns and cayenne. Dredge beef in mixture until coated. Discard any excess. Add beef to pan, in batches, and cook, stirring, until nicely browned on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch. Add more bacon drippings, if required. Reduce heat to medium.

Add onions, celery, and carrots to pan and cook, stirring, until carrots are softened, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, bay leaves, nutmeg and orange zest and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add wheat berries, orange juice, red wine, tomato paste, stock, and water and bring to a boil. Return beef and bacon to pot and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until wheat berries are tender, about 1-1/2 hours.

Substitute an equal quantity of whole (hulled) barley or farro for the wheat berries.

Nutrients per serving
Calories: 413; Protein: 32.9 g; Carbohydrates: 37.3 g; Fat (Total): 15.0 g; Saturated Fat: 4.9 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 6.4 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.4 g; Dietary Fiber: 6.9 g; Sodium: 544 mg; Cholesterol: 63 mg

Excellent source of vitamin A, niacin, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, zinc and selenium. Good source of thiamine, riboflavin and iron and copper. Source of vitamin C, folacin, pantothenic acid and calcium. Contains a very high amount dietary fiber.

Recipes from THE COMPLETE WHOLE GRAINS COOKBOOK: 150 Recipes for Healthy Living by Judith Finlayson
(Robert Rose Inc.; February 2008; Softcover/$24.95)



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