Feeding your body and soul




I said that I have moved on and I mean it. Summer is over and it is on for the fall!  The grill will not be used this week. I am back to cooking indoors. I truly enjoy the process of cooking. Picking the food items and even the pots and pans in which the items will be cooked is interesting to me. I am sure that preparing the meal does more for me than it does for those whom I will serve. No matter how simple or complicated the meal is the results are the same for me: sensory stimulation, focus, creativity, solitude, and the gift of giving.

The Fall Crawl is providing me with an opportunity to share some of my creativity with you. Today I choose a recipe for beef stew that my family and I enjoy. The best part of this recipe is the flexibility of it. Exact measurements are not necessary for most of the items because you tailor it to your taste. It’s one of my go-to meals when I have a lot of odds and ends in the fridge. As long as you have the key ingredients you can add what you have on hand.

You will need the following items:

*Beef chuck cut into medium sized cubes 1 lb
*potatoes 4 large
carrots 1 large
sweet peppers
peas 1 cup
*olive oil
white wine (drinking quality) ½ cup
*flour 2 tb
*beef stock
(key ingredient*)

Peel potatoes then chop into bite size chunks. Boil until just soft or about 10 minutes. They will get softer in the pot in the oven but I like them cooked some before then. I like to peel slivers of carrot because I  don’t like big chunks. If you like big then go big! Roughly chop or dice other  vegetables. Saute the onions, peppers, celery and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil in a non stick pan.  Add mushrooms and tomatoes to pan once other vegetables are soft.

Place flour in plastic bag. Add salt, pepper, and combination of spices and herbs that are normally in a mix like Sylvia’s secret seasoning. That’s usually a combination of basil, thyme, oregano, marjoram, rosemary and garlic.  Place meat in bag and coat pieces. In a fresh pan, brown the meat in a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Leave in pan. Drain potatoes.

Place drained potatoes, meat, sauted veggies, 2 cups of beef broth, peas, and wine in dutch oven or heavy pan. Cook together on top of stove for about 10 minutes. Add a little more spice to pot, stir and then place in 35o degree oven for at least 45 minutes. Check every 15 or 20 minutes to see if it is the consistency that you like. You should end up with a pot of yummy goodness. Let me know how it turns out!

Some people throw everything into a crock pot and that seems to work for them. I didn’t do that here. I used the stove top first and then baked the stew in a covered pot because as the child of southerners, I like meat that is so tender it falls apart. I achieve that tenderness using this method.You’ll note the red dutch oven that I use, it may not be necessary (any heavy pot will work) but it sure makes me happy!




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