This weekend was all about work — tons of coding, lots of drawing, and endless ideas being tossed around. We are working with our first international client, and she is such a sweet lady. I can’t wait to hand her the keys to her new site. I think she’ll love working in WordPress, and will find it so much more effective to blog with. I love that part of our job. Unfortunately, our progress cost us most of our weekend — from Saturday morning to late Sunday night — and we literally collapsed into bed both nights. It’s never good to start Monday totally exhausted, even when you work at home.
To free up some time, Neil put together a huge pot of stew on Saturday while I went and saw Les Miserables with a friend (loved it!). It was quintessential stew weather, very grey, misty, dark and cold. He chose brightly-colored veggies and seared the beef and stirred it all together with the homemade stock we made a few weeks ago. It was ready by the time I came home, and the house smelled amazing. We scooped that last of it out Sunday night, and since we have enough veggies leftover, and he’s putting together another batch tonight to get us through the next two days.
1.5 pounds chuck roast or “stew meat”, cut into 1-inch cubes
3-4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into bite-sized pieces
2-3 medium celery stalks, sliced into bite-sized pieces
3 parsnips, peeled and sliced into bite-sized pieces
1 leek, sliced thinly (white part only)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and whole (I smash a bit with the end of my knife for flavor)
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and sliced into bite-sized pieces
1 14.5-oz can organic diced tomatoes
3-4 cups stock of preference (we used chicken stock)
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme
4 tablespoons cooking fat (we used a combo of coconut oil and almond oil)
1-2 tablespoons coarse salt (to taste)
1 tbsp ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Salt cubed beef and set aside.
- Saute celery leek and shallots with 1 tablespoon cooking fat (lightly salt) in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes. Remove and add to empty dutch oven off to side.
- Add carrots and parsnips to pan. Saute 3-4 minutes with 1 tablespoon cooking fat (lightly salt). Remove and add to dutch oven.
- Add sweet potato to pan. Saute 5 minutes with 1 tablespoon cooking fat (lightly salt). Remove and add to dutch oven
- Add beef to the pan (in batches if necessary) and saute/sear on all sides (get some good color on them). It should only take a few minutes. Remove and add to dutch oven.
- Pour 1 cup of stock into saute pan to deglaze, then mix back in with the rest of the broth (we held ours in a large glass measuring cup) and add to the dutch oven.
- Add can of tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, pepper and salt to taste to dutch oven.
- Stir contents of dutch oven until combined. Place in oven and bake for 2-3 hours, removing and stirring 1-2 times if desired./li>
- Serve alone or with bismati rice.
Makes 4-6 servings.
We’ve had parsnips before, but for some reason, Neil really loved them in this stew. I loved the way the sweet potatoes softened and kind of melted into the broth and attached themselves to the other veggies and meat. All in all, it was the perfect way to brighten a cold, dark winter day.