More Italian Comfort Food

Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue and what did he find? Lots of wonderful new varieties of food that he brought home to the best cooks in the universe. Yummy pineapples, sweet potatoes and corn in the West Indies, and he brought sugar cane to Puerto Rico from which rum is distilled, from the Caribbean islands he brought sweet peppers to Europe. That's when the fun started.

From one generation of Italian cooks to the next, sweet peppers have been a mainstay ever since. I think you'll enjoy my slow cooker version of sweet peppers and veal stew – a mild cousin to the sweet peppers and sausages my grandmother used to make. A perfect way to use up the end of season pepper crop from the garden.

1 1/2 pound veal for stew, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 whole allspice (or 2 whole cloves)
1 bay leaf
5 whole black peppercorns
1 can ( size) tomato paste
1 cup ready-to-serve chicken broth
1 each green, yellow, orange, red sweet bell pepper, cut into thin strips
Hot cooked rice or wide noodles
Grated Parmesan

Combine flour, salt and paprika. Lightly coat veal with flour mixture; discard remaining flour. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat until hot. Brown veal, 1/2 at a time; remove from pan and set aside.

Add tomato paste to fry pan and stir over medium high heat until lightly caramelized. Deglaze fry pan with 1 cup broth, stirring until brown bits are loosened and sauce has a creamy consistency. Add tomato sauce, veal, bay leaf, peppercorns, allspice and sliced multi-color peppers to a crock pot; set on low for 6-8 hours, or until veal is fork-tender. Serve over rice or noodles. Sprinkle with cheese.

Add salt and pepper to taste, serves 4.


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