Beef stew is the classic comfort food for the winter months. Make it even more cozy by layering on some creamy grits. Comfort food on top of comfort food!
Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Season beef with salt and quickly sear on all sides. Do not overcook. Set the beef aside.
Using the same Dutch oven, add a little more olive oil and sauté carrots, celery, and onion until soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and and sauté for about 1 more minute until the garlic is fragrant.
Add the diced tomatoes, beef broth, tapioca, mushrooms, and all seasonings. bring to a boil. Lower the heat and allow to simmer on low for an hour. If the stew is getting too thick and starts sticking to the pot, cover for a bit to allow a little more liquid to build up.
After an hour, remove the stew from the heat and transfer to a large casserole dish to cool until the grits are ready. Taste, and adjust seasoning if desired. Preheat the oven to 325.
Bring 4 1/13 c water to a boil. Whisk in the grits. Add the salt, pepper, and butter. Whisk until the grits start to thicken. Stir occasionally or until the grits are done, about 5 minutes.
Slowly pour the grits over the stew. The stew should be thick and cool enough that the grits will not sink. Bake covered for the first half hour, and uncovered for another half hour.