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Seasoned Buffalo Stew
with Tomatoes and Green Olives

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Ingredients:

2 cups pure olive oil
2 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves (picked and finely chopped)
6 sprigs fresh savory or thyme leaves (finely chopped)
1 tablespoon fresh garlic (chopped)
½ tablespoon fresh chilies (chopped) (may substitute ½ teaspoon dried chili flakes)
1 tablespoon course salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon each coriander and fennel seeds (ground in a mortar or spice grinder)
½ teaspoon allspice
3-½ to 4 pounds buffalo shoulder or rump steak (trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes)
3 pounds fresh ripe tomatoes (may substitute 2 large cans of plum tomatoes in puree)
2 medium onions (finely chopped)
4 sprigs basil leaves (picked)
¼ cup balsamic or red wine vinegar
2 cups large green imported olives (green olives are simply uncured olives)
3 tablespoons honey (optional to counteract acidity of tomatoes)

Directions:

Combine 1 cup of the olive oil with the rosemary, savory or thyme, garlic, chili, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Combine the coriander, fennel and allspice in a sauté pan and heat over medium heat until they begin to "bloom" and smell fragrant. Combine with the herbs in the bowl. Add the buffalo cubes, toss to coat, and marinate in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours.

Pour ¾ cup of olive oil on a baking sheet with sides, spread out the marinated buffalo and place in 450° oven to brown, turning meat once to brown other side. If using fresh tomatoes, wash and core, then blanch in rapidly boiling water to easily remove skins. Cut the skinned tomatoes in half and squeeze out the seeds, coarsely chop by hand or use a food processor. If using canned tomatoes drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving the juice.

Then break open over a bowl to catch additional juice, chop coarsely. Strain the reserved tomato liquid and add to the chopped tomatoes. Heat the remaining ¼ cup olive oil in a 4-quart pot over high heat. Add the onions, cook 2-3 minutes to soften. Add the basil and vinegar, cook 1 minute more. Add the tomatoes with liquid. Stir in the buffalo, bring the mixture to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the olives and continue to cook for approximately 25-30 more minutes. Halfway through the cooking process taste the stew and add optional honey if the tomatoes are very acidic. Serve with orzo pasta, rice or potatoes.

Makes 8 to 10 servings

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