Thursday, April 21, 2011

Winter Stew in April

Hi Sally,

It was SO good to see you on Tuesday and I am very excited for Esther. Just reading the introduction made me so happy! But now for food. As we all know it has been cold lately . . . much too cold. There is nothing better than a warm rich stew to take away the chills from April rain so I rummaged through the books and found a delicious recipe in Eat Shrink & Be Merry.

It took just over an hour but I have to tell you that it was totally worth it! The entire apartment was filled with a delicious aroma of savory beef, vegetables and a rich creamy broth. I also baked rosemary biscuits and made mashed potatoes. Might I just point out that I ate a salad and that this meal was really for Jesse. That being said, it was still a pleasure to be cooking in the kitchen again.

I bought all the ingredients for those yummy looking burritos so they will be the next thing I make for sure.

Seeing you for an hour or so is great but I think we should work on hanging out for a little longer next time :) Love ya!


Just Stew It!
From Eat Shrink & Be Merry
2 lbs stewing beef, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tsp olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp herbs de provence (I didn't have this so I used Montreal Steak Spice which seemed to work)
2 cups beef broth
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt and pepper
2 cups chopped carrots
1/2 light sour cream (I used plain yogurt)
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup frozen peas

1. Trim beef of fat and sprinkle with flour. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large non-stick pot over medium-high heat. Add half the beef cubes and cook until lightly browned. Remove from the pot and set aside. Repeat process with remaining 1 tsp olive oil and beef cubes.

2. Return all beef cubes to pot. Add onions, celery, and garlic. Cook and stir until onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in herbs. Cook 1 more minute. Add broth, vinegar, tomato paste, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour. Add carrots and simmer 20 minutes more.

3. Combine sour cream and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add to stew along with green peas. Mix well.

Rosemary Biscuits
Modified from The Joy of Cooking
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
6 tbsp cold butter
3/4 cup cold milk
pinch of salt
1 tsp crushed, dried rosemary

Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl. Grate in cold butter and mix with dry ingredients. Slowly add the milk while mixing with a fork. Bring together carefully into a ball and knead for about 30 seconds. Roll out to 1/2 inch thickness and cut out into circles.
Bake in a 450 oven for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

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