Easy, hearty, and delicious, this Copycat Harris Ranch Chuck Wagon Stew is pure comfort on a cold winter day!
Unless you live in California, are in the restaurant business, or a beef connoisseur, you’re probably not too familiar with Harris Ranch. But for those of us who spent a good chunk of our childhood traveling I-5 from Northern California to Southern California to visit their grandparents, we’re very familiar with it.
There’s a portion of I-5 that travelers refer to as The Grapevine. It’s long…and boring. Harris Ranch is conveniently located off I-5, where tons of people stop to grab a bite to eat before they have to hit the road again. It’s changed a lot since the 70’s, when I was growing up. This family run cattle ranch is now the largest agribusinesses in the nation, with a resort and restaurant.
This chuck wagon soup is a staple on their menu.
We were at my parent’s house over the weekend celebrating Haley’s birthday and my mom served it for lunch. I can’t remember what the restaurant version tastes like, so I really had nothing to compare it to. I just knew it was delicious! Pure comfort food while winter is still pounding us.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup small diced sweet onion
- 1 cup small diced celery
- 1 cup small diced carrots
- salt and pepper
- 3/4 pound lean ground beef
- 1 cup small diced potato
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 1/2 teaspoons beef bouillon
- 3 teaspoons fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 can (15 ounce) diced petite tomatoes, undrained
- 1 carton (32 ounce) low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup frozen baby peas , thawed
In a large pot, warm olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in the onion, celery, and carrots; saute for 5 minutes until vegetables are tender. Season with a few dashes of salt and pepper.
Add in the ground beef and cook, breaking up into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until no pink remains, about 3 minutes. Season with a few more dashes of salt and pepper. Drain off fat, if necessary.
Add in the potato, tomato paste, beef bullion, fish sauce, Worcestershire sauce, canned tomatoes with their juice, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, but not mushy, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in peas and warm through.
Ladle into bowls and enjoy!
• I use Better Than Bouillon beef base, instead of a bouillon cube.
• You can use beef broth instead of the vegetable broth, but the other ingredients might need to be adjusted.