This beef stew recipe is an adaptation of the Cook's Illustrated Best Beef Stew recipe, which gave me the secret weapon: anchovies! Using a few chopped up anchovies in your beef stew to bring out the "meatiness" or the glutimates in your stew. You might think that it will taste fishy, but no. It just tastes beefy and meaty. Give it a try!
Crush the garlic and combine with tomato paste and anchovies. Chop anchovies finely, and add to the paste and garlic mixture. Set aside.
Heat 2 of the three teaspoons of olive oil - over medium heat - in the bottom of a stew pot. Add half of the meat and brown for about 8 minutes. Remove from the pot, and add the second half of the meat. Brown it for about 8 minutes. Return the first half to the pot. Mix in the tomato paste mixture and stir until the meat is completely coated. Add the wine and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock, salt pork, herbs, bay leaf, and simmer for at least 3 hours. Add salt and pepper to taste. To thicken, remove from heat and let cool down for about an hour. Combine the xanthan gum and remaining 1 tbsp of oil, and stir into the stew until thick. If it doesn't thicken sufficently, add more xanthan gum/olive oil 1 tsp at a time until thick. Return the stew to low heat and simmer as long as necessary to come back to eating temperature. Enjoy!