Monday, December 21, 2009
Cozy Meals: Beef Stew
When it's cold, I like things that are cozy: sweaters, blankets, fireplaces. I also like cozy food, and beef stew is the coziest there is. Thick broth, soft potatoes, onions so cooked they nearly disappear. Pair it up with just-from-the-oven bread and it's the best winter-time supper you could make.
While I've never been able to replicate my mom's beef stew recipe (I think the secret is a pressure cooker, and those things scare me), I tried a great recipe from Dixie Caviar last week.
Two tips: If you've got a smaller Dutch oven (like my 4.5 quart model), be prepared for a very full pot. I followed the recipe closely, maybe adding an extra handful of vegetables, and I couldn't have slipped another carrot in if I tried. And if you can be patient, make this stew one day and serve it the next. The broth, in particular, is so much richer after it's had a chance to rest a bit, and the flavors meld really nicely.
I made a pretty simple batch of yeast rolls as a side but a nice country bread would be good, too, and my mom used to serve pumpkin bread with hers — it's like supper and dessert all at once.