This richly-flavored stew, served on a bed of ancient grains, will awaken your taste buds and take them on a Mediterranean journey.
Ladle into shallow bowls and serve with chunks of rustic country bread, your favorite bottle of wine and share with your best friend (s).
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
- Flour, for dredging
- 2 cups carrots, sliced
- 3 cups beef broth
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with juice
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 large garlic cloves, smashed
- 1/3 cup Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 can (15.5 oz) cannellini beans
- 1 cup Calamata olives, cut in half
- 1 cup Farro
- Feta cheese
- 1 lemon, zest
- Using a large oven-proof pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, add eggplant and season with salt and pepper. Cook covered for 5 minutes and then transfer to another dish.
- Season meat with salt and pepper and in small batches, lightly dredge in flour. I use a one gallon plastic freezer bag for easy clean up.
- On medium-high heat, brown 1/3 of the meat in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and then transfer to another dish. Repeat with the remaining meat, using 2 tablespoons olive oil for each batch.
- Add the eggplant, carrots, broth, orange juice, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, garlic and parsley to the pan with the meat. Stir well to combine all ingredients.
- Cover the pan and bake in a 350* oven for about an hour.
- Carefully, remove the pan from the oven and add the cannellini beans and olives. Return to the oven and continue to bake another 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook farro in large pot of boiling salted water for 2o minutes, until tender. Drain and then season with salt and pepper and the last 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- To serve, spoon 1/2 cup of farro into a shallow bowl and top with a ladle off stew. Add a spoonful of feta cheese and finish with grated lemon zest over all.