Combine 1/4-1/3 c. cornstarch, salt, pepper and garlic powder (to taste). Take 1 lb. of stew meat (or a beef roast cubed into 1-2″ cubes) and roll in cornstarch mixture.
In a large stockpot, melt 1 Tbsp. butter with 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium high heat. Sear meat in hot oil 2 minutes per side or until browned.
Meanwhile, roughly chop 1 small red onion, 2 carrots, 4 cloves fresh garlic and 2 unpeeled gold potatoes. Once meat is browned, add chopped vegetables to pot. Cook for 2-5 minutes, then add 1 cup red wine and deglaze pot (I used shiraz).
Add 12-15 oz. of beef broth, a 6 oz. can tomato paste, 1 tsp. crushed rosemary, and 1/2 tsp. dried thyme. Stir to combine. Turn heat to low and simmer for about an hour. When ready to serve, chop about 8 leaves of fresh basil and a large handful of fresh spinach leaves and stir into pot. Serve hot by itself, over rice, or with a nice, crusty loaf of bread.