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Beef, Bean & Basil Stew


1 1/2 c dried lima beans (or whatever beans you have on hand)
4 c water
6 T olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 lbs boneless chuck roast, cut into 2" cubes
2 T flour
1 28-oz can whole tomatoes, drained, chopped, juices reserved
1 14 1/2 oz can whole tomatoes, drained, chopped, juices reserved
1 c beef stock or canned broth
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
18 large fresh basil leaves
4 large garlic cloves
1 T mince fresh thyme, or 1 t dried
1 lb young green beans

4 1" thick french bread slices
8 large fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
1 T unsalted butter cut into pieces


1) Place lima beans in a large saucepan. Add 4 c water and bring to
a boil. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 30 minutes. Retrun
beans to heat and bring to a boil. REduce heat, cover and simmer
until tender, stirring occasionally, about 2 hrs. Drain.

2) Meanwhile, heat 2 T oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat.
Add onions and chopped garlic and saute until transparent, about
10 minutes. Toss beef in flour. Add to onion mixture and cook
until no longer pink about 20 minutes. Add tomatoes and their
juices, stock, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer until beef is
tender, stirring occasionally, about 2 1/2 hrs.

4) Puree 18 basil leavs, 4 garlic cloves and remaining 4 T olive oil
in a blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix lima beans,
basil puree and thyme into beef.

5) Cook green beans in boiling water till crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.

6) For topping: Preheat oven to 300deg. Bake bread slices on baking
sheet until dry, about 30 minutes. Grind to crumbs in the food
processor. add 8 basil leaves and garlic and process until
ingredients are finely ground. Season to taste with salt and
pepper. (can be prepared 4 hrs ahead and stored at room temp.)

7) Preheat oven to 450deg. Mix 3/4 of the green beans into the beef
mixture. Transfer to a large baking dish. Sprinkle with bread
crumb topping and dot with butter. Bake until beef is heated through
and topping is golden, about 20 minutes. Garnish with remaining
green beans and basil sprigs.

Serves 6


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