In Louisiana, fall is all about soul-warming stews and soups. With sweet potatoes, root vegetables, grass-fed meats and braising greens all at the ready during the fall season, putting together a hearty meal to welcome in the cool weather is a breeze. Fresh ingredients from local farms make this Spicy Sweet Potato Beef Stew the perfect dish for chilly Louisiana weather.
We asked Elton Hyndman, head chef at Nino’s, to develop this stew recipe using products from Indie Plate’s partner farms. The concoction was created using grass-fed beef stew meat from Iverstine Farms in Kentwood, sweet potatoes from Chenier Farms in Opelousas, sweet potato greens from Inglewood Farms in Alexandria, and Creole tomatoes from Ponchatoula’s Morrow Farms.
The combination of hearty beef with fresh, local and seasonal vegetables and herbs is sure to warm your belly and your soul.
Indie Plate founders Peru Sharma (left) and Ben Bartage (right) with partner Elton Hyndman (center). The trio have teamed up to offer a variety of new heat-and-serve meals along with Indie Plate’s regular fresh farm product offerings. For details, see indieplate.com.
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. grass-fed stew beef
1 cup celery, roughly chopped
2 cups onion, roughly chopped
2 cayenne peppers, seeded and diced
1 large pear, roughly chopped
Wine for deglazing
3 fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
7 cups low- or no-sodium beef stock or vegetable stock
4 small sweet potatoes, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper or
2 to 3 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 oz. braising greens, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh herbs
Start with a large stockpot or cast-iron pot over high heat. Pour in olive oil. Add beef and spread evenly. Allow to brown for 1 minute; stir. Continue cooking for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add celery and onion. Stir occasionally and lower heat to medium. Cook until veggies are tender, about 10 minutes. Add cayenne peppers, pear and garlic. Cook for 1 minute.
Deglaze with 1⁄2 cup of whatever wine is kicking around, and add tomatoes. After the alcohol has cooked out (1 minute or so), add beef or vegetable stock. Bring to a boil. Add sweet potatoes and salt and black or mixed pepper, and reduce to a simmer for 60 to 90 minutes or until beef is tender.
Just before serving, stir in braising greens and your favorite fresh herbs (I used thyme and oregano). Serve and enjoy, or put away for tomorrow. Makes 4-8 servings.