The temperature has been dropping precariously close to freezing the past few evenings here in New England. The chimneys have been swept and are ready to contain some beautiful wood burning evenings of book and blankets. The leaf blowers have been running all weekend in preparation for citywide neighborhood leaf collections. I spent a combined total of seven hours this weekend out moving leaves – with the majority of trees along the back of my property still holding their flags in protest. Feeling good about the progress I had made, I felt it was time to get a stew going today.
I have been trying to avoid meat as much as I can, but for this I went all out at the butcher. I procured a lovely roast and also a small package of cubed chuck. Into a slow cooker I place beef stock, five minced cloves of garlic, sliced parsnips, rutabaga, baby carrots, yellow onion, mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce, red cooking wine, a little premium olive oil, some Fleur de Eel, and ground mustard. I added Northern white beans as well as barley for good measure. The Northern beans have made a huge difference – no need to add anything to thicken the resulting broth – normally some small amount of flour but I steer clear of simple carbohydrates anymore.
Eight hours later and the roast has nearly fallen apart on its own. Notice that I replaced potatoes with parsnips and sliced rutabaga. Alleviating the need for simple carbs but maintaining a beef stew feel. And there you have it really – while it cools before putting into the fridge (I started too late to have any of it for a proper dinner). I had a small bowl just to make sure the meat was properly cooked before committing to putting it away. It’s going to take some time to properly cool. Good thing there is a decent late NFL game I can watch while I wait.
Beef stew usually lasts at least a week of dinners for me, it’s super simple to put together, and it’s a lot better than doom scrolling Door Dash or GrubHub for some overpriced (usually) food. I was thinking next time I mighty try some spinach in the stew as well. I usually have plenty around but today I forgot it and didn’t want to run out. Cooking is quite therapeutic as long as you have enough time to put things together without rushing it. In my opinion, home cooking needs to involve patience, care, and a gentle touch. It honestly makes all the difference.