Basic Beef Stew and Sun-Dried Tomato Ketchup

I don’t like ketchup.

Is that un-American?

Almost everyone else I know douses french fries with ketchup. They use it on hamburgers. Even hot dogs.

NONONO, hot dogs are supposed to get mustard!!

My husband Ed gets the ketchup out whenever I grill a steak, make pot roast or serve anything he doesn’t really love, like fish.

NONONO, you don’t splash ketchup on branzini!!

Do you?

A neighbor of mine poured ketchup over scrambled eggs and into his mother’s homemade chicken soup.

OHNO! Absolutely not.

During the Reagan administration the USDA declared ketchup a vegetable, suitable for school lunch.


Fortunately, that decision was later reversed.

Okay ketchup lovers, do your thing. Have ketchup on whatever you wish. I am not convinced.

Except I got this new kind recently. I will confess here that it was given to me by Traina Foods, who asked my stubborn, anti-ketchup self if I would try it. If they could convince me I suppose, it might be a winner.

It IS!

No, I still would not, IMHO, ruin homemade french fries with ketchup of any kind. And I wouldn’t use it for steak.

But this stuff is splendiferous with braised brisket or other kinds of pot roast, beef stew and grilled burgers. It’s got more of a tang than standard ketchup, so the taste is roasted-toasted and tomato-y, not sweet. It’s thicker than most other ketchups too.

If you see this in the stores, it’s worth a try. Here’s a good, warm-you-up winter Beef Stew recipe you can use it with:

Basic Beef Stew

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon paprika

2-1/2 to 3 pounds beef chuck roast

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped

1 large clove garlic, chopped

1 cup red wine

3-4 carrots, cut into chunks

2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

Traina Foods sun dried tomato ketchup

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Combine the flour, thyme, salt, pepper and paprika in a dish. Cut the meat into large chunks, about 2-inches. Dredge the meat in the flour mixture, coating all sides. Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large, heat-proof casserole over medium-high heat. Using a few chunks at a time, cook the meat on all sides for 5-6 minutes or until lightly browned. Do not crowd the pan. Remove each piece to a plate as it browns. When all the meat has browned, add the remaining tablespoon vegetable oil to the pan. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook briefly. Pour in the wine. Return the meat to the pan. Cover the pan and place in the oven. Cook for 1-1/2 hours. Add the carrots and potatoes, cover the pan and cook for another hour or until the meat and vegetables are very tender. serve with sun dried tomato ketchup.

Makes 4 servings