This stew is local-style cooking at its finest. Hearty, comforting and delicious! It's simple with just a few ingredients yet this dish depends solely on the cooking process. Boiling the luau leaves, browning the beef - the longer you can tenderize the beef, the better. Check out our cooking tutorial below to see the process.
2 -1/2 lbs beef stew meat
3 lbs luau (taro) leaf
1 gallon water (for luau leaf)
1/2 gallon water (for beef)
2 TBL vegetable oil
1 tsp baking soda
Sea Salt, to taste
Prepare luau leaf by chopping into strips.
Bring 1-gallon (16 cups) of water to boil in a large pot on high heat. Add a pinch of salt and 1-teaspoon of baking soda to the water. Baking soda will help break down the luau leaves.
Add half of the luau leaves to the boiling water. Cook down and mash into water with a spoon until leaves begin to slightly soften. Once water level is above the leaves, add the second half and repeat. Stir to fold so the leaves from the bottom are now on top and leaves on top are now under water.
Place lid on pot, turn down heat to medium and let simmer for 30-minutes.
While luau leaves are simmering, add 2-tablespoons of vegetable oil to another large pot on high heat. Once oil begins smoking, add stew beef to begin browning.
Brown stew meat - allow meat to sit for a couple minutes at a time before moving (stirring) around in pot.
Once meat is completely browned, add 1/2-gallon (8 cups) of water to the meat (no need to drain any oil or water that may cook off from the meat - be sure to leave for extra flavoring). Water level should be right above the meat, about 2-inches above so meat is submerged. Cover with a lid, turn down heat to medium and allow meat to simmer for about 1 hour and 45-minutes or until meat is tenderized. Add water as needed during cooking process as water will reduce.
Meanwhile, after a half-hour of cooking, luau leaves should be tender like cooked spinach. Strain any excess water and set leaves aside.
Once meat is tenderized, be sure water level is right at the same level of the beef. Slowly add cooked luau leaves to the beef pot and combine. Taste to see if additional salt is needed, add accordingly. Leave heat on medium, cover with lid and allow to simmer for another 20-minutes. Water will slightly reduce and stew will thicken.