Beef Stew

We all know that Jeremy is one of those fabulous cooks. His food is almost always amazing. And my food...well, it sometimes works out. But every once in a while, I win. Wait, it's not a competition. Every once in a while, I cook amazing things, and Jeremy's game is off. That still sounds like I win, doesn't it? Oh well. I win!

And this has been one of those marvelous weeks. Jeremy made chicken nuggets, and they were terrible. Salty and tasted like flour all at the same time. Those nuggets definitely weren't blog worthy, although he had high hopes. And he made a chili this week that was simultaneously burnt and underdone. (That takes talent, right there.) By the end of the week, he was feeling a little unsure of himself.

Instead, he had to eat a grilled cream cheese and salmon sandwich. He thought it was going to be too plain for his extravagant tastebuds. He doesn't usually love my simpler tastes. But he thoroughly enjoyed my simple sandwich. And was a little shocked at himself, I think.

Then, I made this stew. Jeremy's world was flipped upside down.

I know we'll get back to normal soon, but in the meantime, I'm enjoying my romp on the winning side. I am the champion, my friend.

This stew is definitely blog worthy. And you know what else? I've had a head cold this week, and this stew made me feel ohsomuch better. I was relieved it is blog worthy because I took pictures, hoping that it wouldn't taste terrible. (Like Jeremy's chicken nuggets.) (That's rubbing it in a little, I'm sorry.)

First up, let me tell you about my new Christmas gift. This beauty is awesome. I've wanted one of these for a long time now, and Grandma bought me a big one for Christmas. This was the first time I used this pot, and it was probably a good luck charm.

The Recipe

Heat up the pot to medium-high. Yep, it was hot, popping hot. Made me a little nervous. I chopped up the stew meat into smaller chunks because I dislike having to cut up my stew. Liberally salt and pepper the meat. Add some olive oil and butter to the hot pot, and brown the meat in a single layer. I had maybe a pound and a half of meat.

Once the meat was browned, I put it on a plate to rest. I added some more butter (half a stick) to the pot and a chopped up sweet onion. Slide the onion into the pot along with a tablespoon of minced garlic. You can turn down the heat a bit now.

While the onions are cooking roughly chop up some carrots and 10 medium potatoes.

And here's the exciting part. Pour in a good slosh of red wine. I probably let the bottle gurgle a time or two. This part gives the stew a sweet and almost bright flavor. I love cooking with wine, it does magical things in food.

After the onions, garlic, and wine have cooked down a bit, it'll be time to add everything to the pot. Slide the carrots, potatoes, and meat in. Pour in two cans of beef broth (or if you make your own, about a quart). Throw in a bag of frozen peas. And then add water until everything is barely covered. I added 3 cups of water. Throw in two bay leaves (another favorite of mine) and cover your pot. Let it come to a boil, turn down to a simmer and let it simmer for an hour or so. It only gets better with time.

Salt and pepper to taste, and serve! Add some sourdough buttered toast (called 'pushers' around here) and you've got a tasty meal.


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