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a piece of me

October 18 2011 by Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Beef,Recipe,Soup » 16 comments

Beef Stew

I cooked what felt like a million things over the weekend, and I’ll eat almost none of them.  Instead, the dishes are stashed in my parents’ freezer—a stockpile for my mother’s recovery from back surgery, which will be slow and tough for her, but (by god!) she will not be hungry.

Beef Stew

On Saturday, I chopped and simmered and stirred all day, making a spectacular mess with which my sister tried to keep up (she’s a saint).  I was on my feet for hours and hours, at my mother’s stove, her counter, her sink, using her knives, her pots and pans, her pantry ingredients.  All the while, she was in bed.

Beef Stew

I brought her bites of things as I finished the various dishes, and she ooh-ed and ahh-ed.  She said she loved the smells of garlic and roasting tomatoes and savory soups, which wafted from the main floor kitchen all the way upstairs to her bedroom.

Beef Stew

I left on Sunday, and of course it felt too soon.  But I knew a piece of me—a piece of my food—would stay behind, feeding my parents in the coming days.  That helped me, and I hope it’s helping my mom, too.

Beef Stew

This stew wasn’t on the roster of soups and salads and such that I made on Saturday, but it would’ve been a perfect addition.  Instead, I think I’ll make if for my mom when she’s well again, when we can sit at the table and eat together.

Beef Stew

Beef Stew with Carrots & Mushrooms
Slightly Adapted from Cooking Light

4-6 servings

olive oil
1 pound small cremini mushrooms
2 cups chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 ounces)
2 pounds lean beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
28 ounces less-sodium beef broth
1 bay leaf
1 pound small new potatoes (halved if large, kept whole if small)
1 1/2 cups (1-inch) slices carrot (about 12 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Fresh thyme sprigs (optional)

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, and sauté for 5 minutes or until mushrooms begin to brown. Spoon mushrooms into a large bowl.  Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the Dutch oven. Add onion; sauté 10 minutes or until tender and golden brown. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add onion mixture to mushroom mixture.

Place flour in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Dredge beef in flour, shaking off excess. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add half of beef mixture; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cook 6 minutes, browning on all sides. Add browned beef to mushroom mixture. Repeat procedure with remaining beef mixture and 1/8 teaspoon salt.

Add 1 cup wine to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add thyme, broth, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Stir in beef mixture. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 1 hour or until beef is just tender.

Stir in potato and carrot. Simmer, uncovered, 1 hour and 15 minutes or until beef and vegetables are very tender and sauce is thick, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Discard bay leaf. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.

16 comments so far. »
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  1. Janae says on October 18 2011 at 9:29 pm:

    What a beautiful dish, and so cozy and homey for the season. I’m bookmarking this one…

    I hope your mom’s surgery was successful and that she is doing well :)

  2. Rosa says on October 18 2011 at 11:47 pm:

    A wonderful stew! So delicious looking and comforting.



  3. Notyet100 says on October 19 2011 at 2:13 am:

    This looks yum,..:)

  4. Alissa says on October 19 2011 at 4:14 am:

    A good beef stew is just what I need right now!

  5. Eileen says on October 19 2011 at 9:03 am:

    Cooking is such a beautiful way to show your love. I did the same for my mother after her surgery. Was your sister in charge of dishes? Mine kept trying to eat the food! I had to slap her hands away. Ah, families!

  6. Eleana says on October 19 2011 at 12:15 pm:

    I’m almost drooling all over the screen … this looks delicious! Of course in balmy LA it’ll be a couple more months before it’s cold enough to REALLY crave it, but I’m willing to make it next weekend …

    Hope your mom feels better soon! I’ve read your entire blog and feel invested in you and your family =)

  7. Sue/the view from great island says on October 20 2011 at 10:12 am:

    Beautiful stew, I love the overhead shot in the pot. You must feel good about helping out your mom, and you can enjoy your stew knowing that you really did leave a piece of yourself with her.

  8. Ali says on October 20 2011 at 6:02 pm:

    Weekends with you home are my favorite. I think of you every time I open their (and my) fridge!

  9. Emily says on October 24 2011 at 3:38 pm:

    Made this last night for dinner. So, so good, and it made the apartment smell amazing. Perfect for a Sunday night.

  10. diane says on October 24 2011 at 6:02 pm:

    Thanks for all of the great food that filled my fridge to the brim. I had the last savory bites tonight and treasured them . I can’t thank the two of you enough, you’re the best! Love, MOM

  11. Yosef - This American Bite says on October 25 2011 at 12:49 pm:

    Thyme, red wine and beef… what more can I say? I can smell it from here!

  12. Steve in ORD says on October 27 2011 at 5:50 pm:

    So, I made this tonite for dinner. Somewhere around the hour and half mark I grabbed the fork to start checking for doneness. One bite led to another and another and I wasn’t hungry by the time we sat down to eat. A little time consuming and probably not for a weeknight meal but will have to try this in the slow cooker someday.

    This will absolutely be added to the menu of winter foods now just to hope for lots of snow here in Chicago. ;)

  13. Judy says on November 03 2011 at 11:11 am:

    Sounds like the perfect dish for the time of year!!

  14. cory says on November 04 2011 at 8:55 am:

    i love your photography here! this is just the recipe i was looking to make this sunday, while the boys were glued to the football. how do you think this would be with the addition of barley? maybe just up the stock to account for the liquid it will absorb? thanks! gorgeous entry, as always!

  15. Audrie says on November 18 2011 at 11:01 pm:

    My dad just had back surgery and I wish I could’ve flown home to cook for him while he recuperated :) Such a beautiful thing, to cook for someone, isn’t it?

  16. Sunday Beef « a glass of milk says on November 27 2011 at 1:42 pm:

    [...] for other attractive beef stews?  Try The Kitchen Sink and Seven Spoons. GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); [...]

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