This conversation is sponsored by The US Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, but the opinions and text are all mine.
Beef and tomato stew is one of my favorite meals in the fall and winter. It’s a dish that my mom served to me growing up, which is probably why I consider it a comfort meal today. It’s also super easy to prepare and full of good nutrition, which makes it a great option, especially as winter temperatures start to roll in.
When it comes to shopping for ingredients, I try to keep things as simple as possible. As a Registered Dietitian, I’m often asked where I purchase my groceries—especially beef. Even though I love purchasing beef from local butchers or friends in the cattle industry, I know that quality beef is available at many of our local grocery stores. In fact, many grocery stores carry local beef from family farms across the state. Last year, I had the unique opportunity to spend the day with a former USDA meat grader, who helped teach me about how meat is graded and the journey beef takes from the farm to the grocery store. I have also visited several farms across the state, including friends who raise cattle, which has helped me feel even more confident about the quality of meat available in the local grocery store.
For example, did you know that beef needs time to age between the time it’s harvested and the time it’s sold in stores? The aging process typically takes about 30 days and is done in a controlled environment. This helps with tenderness and flavor.
Once it’s received at the grocery store, there is a limited amount of time before either the priced is reduced or it’s removed from shelves, which helps ensure freshness and safety. I’ve also learned when it comes to food safety, some of the biggest mistakes happen at home, and not necessarily during harvest or when handling at the grocery store.
With that in mind, I try to make sure I prepare fresh beef within 2-3 days of purchasing or I’ll stick in the freezer to use at a later date.
I hope you’ll enjoy this super easy beef & tomato stew!