Tag Archives: quick stew

Melt-In-Your-Mouth Beef Stew with Tri-Color Vegetables (serves 4)

This is a dish I would never have dreamed of cooking a few days ago. Then again, I was in the United States in 100 degree weather. Three thousand, five hundred miles west, in Ireland to be precise, is a whole different matter. It has been in the 60’s (mid teens in celsius), and my body is trying to adjust to the cooler temperatures. My mental state also needs a little adjusting as everyone here thinks it is warm enough for summer dresses and sandals.

Rich Red Wine Beef Stew with Tri-Color Vegetables (serves 4)

I didn’t feel too bad complaining as my sisters who live here also long for it to be a little bit warmer. So, while I sat on a comfy couch in Wexford watching the men’s singles Wimbledon final, my two kids went out on Kevin’s boat to fish. As they were getting ready to leave Kevin asked if I had packed hats! Hats? Why in the world would I pack hats in the middle of summer?

When they arrived home hours later (sans fish!) they were full of stories about what it felt like to be bobbing on the ocean in a little boat, and at how seals had come right alongside the boat, popped their heads out of the water and stared at them; how wonderful !

off to launch the boat

When I thought about what to make for dinner I wanted to satisfy bellies with something warm and comforting. Stew is definitely one of the coziest foods when there is a chill in your bones. Kevin’s mother had put some surplus beef chunks from her grass-fed cow in his freezer and I pilfered a couple of pounds of it to make dinner.

Making this dish is so easy if you keep staples like carrots, herbs and red wine on hand. I didn’t need to go shopping as I scrounged whatever was in the fridge and pantry. The smoky paprika was amazing with the red wine, and the carnivores in the house licked their plates clean.


You will need:

3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 lbs to 2 lbs (3/4 kg) stewing beef, cut into chunks (generally it can be bought in chunks at most supermarkets)

1 tsp sea-salt (if it is course or you are using salt flakes, you made need a little more)

several grinds black pepper

1 medium red onion, large dice

1 medium yellow or sweet onion, large dice

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 or 3 medium carrots, thickly sliced

1 large parsnip, peeled and sliced into medium rounds

4 cups spinach

3 sprigs fresh rosemary, left whole

1 tbs smoked paprika

1 tsp cayenne pepper flakes (chili flakes)

2 tbs all-purpose flour

1 cup red wine

3 1/2 cups broth (chicken or veggie), OR 1 good quality bouillon cube & 3 1/2 cups water


Preheat oven 425*

1 – prep all veggies. Pat meat dry with cloth or paper towels, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put large casserole or heavy saute pan (one with a lid and can be transferred to the oven) on high heat and add about 2 tbs of oil. When it is very hot, sear the meat in batches until browned, adding more oil as needed. Transfer meat to a plate and set aside.

season & sear meat

2 – Turn heat down and add more oil if pan looks dry. Add onions and garlic and saute for 5 minutes.

saute onions & garlic

3 – Add rosemary and cook for another 3 minutes.

add rosemary

4 – Add carrots and parsnips and cook for a minute. Add the paprika and cayenne flakes and stir for 1 minute before adding the flour. Stir to incorporate flour completely.

add spices & flour

5 – Add red wine and stir until smooth and bubbling.

Add wine

6 – Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Add the meat and bring to a bubble. Turn off heat, cover with lid and transfer to oven for 1 1/4 hours.

add broth & meat, then cook

7 – Remove from oven and add the spinach and stir gently.(Stirring will also loosen the meat and sauce). *If sauce is very thick you can dilute with boiling water until you are satisfied with the consistency*  Cover with lid and allow to sit on stove-top or counter for 10 minutes, after which time the spinach will have cooked and the meat rested.


Serve alone, or with rice, pasta, bread or potatoes.

Superb Lamb Stew with Herbs, & Winter-y Veggies (serves 6)

They say that self-praise is no-praise, but I have to pat myself on the back for this gem of a dish (pat, pat)!

Superb Lamb Stew

I wanted to make something splendid. My friend Bird was in from New York, and each day had to be full of fun adventures, and fabulous food each evening.

Sage, Bay leaves & Pearl onion skins (evidence of good food to come)

I took this dinner to my friend Tom’s house, and it became part of an even larger affair, with 4 different kinds of pizzas, cheese plates, and other side dishes too numerous to mention.

I thought after about 2 months of doing this blog, the food would run out. Now I find I cannot keep up with the amount of dishes to be documented and talked about. I will have to leave the pizza for another day, and give it the spot in this diary that it deserves.

Suffice is to say, I waddled home very contentedly.


You will need: 5 or so tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 2 1/2 lbs stewing lamb, cut into large chunks (you can also buy it pre-cut), 2 tbs freshly chopped sage leaves, 1 large sprig sage (about 10 leaves), 2 tbs freshly chopped tarragon, 2 fresh bay leaves, 1 tsp sea-salt, 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper, 5 cloves garlic, sliced, 1 lb whole white mushrooms, 2 cups pearl onions, (red, white or yellow), 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into large chunks, 2 cups baby carrots, 3 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks, 2 tbs all-purpose flour, 1 good quality bouillon cube ( veggie or chicken), 1 cup red wine, 3 cups water, 3 tbs soy sauce, 4 tbs mirin, 1 tbs sugar

Preheat 450*

1 – Put pot of water on high heat and when it comes to a boil, add the onions. cover and cook for 5 minutes. Drain, and, when cool enough to handle, remove the skins. You do this by cutting the end where it grew from and then squeezing until the onion pops out of the skin.

2 – Put meat into a big bowl and add the salt, pepper, herbs and garlic. Stir together and let sit for 10 minutes, (you can also leave in the fridge for up to 6 hours)

add seasonings to meat

3 – Put big saute pan or heavy casserole on high heat and add half of the oil. When it is slightly smoking, add the meat and sear on both sides until brown. You will need to do this in batches and add more oil as you go. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

sear meat

4 – Turn heat down to medium and add more oil if necessary. Add the mushrooms and onions to the pan and saute for 10 minutes. Add the crumbled bouillon, sage sprig, and flour, and mix into the vegetables. Add the red wine and water and turn heat up. Stir until liquid reaches a simmer and then add the lamb back to the pan.

saute pearl onions and mushrooms

5 – Cover pan and place in preheated oven for 1 1/4 hours. Take out of oven and test meat by piercing with a knife. If it goes through very easily,the meat is cooked.

* while dish is cooking, put the remaining veggies (parsnips, sweet potatoes, & carrots) into a pot with the soy, mirin, sugar and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and simmer gently (with lid) until vegetables are just soft. Drain and set aside until you are ready to add to the finished dish*

add liquids

6 – The moment you take the dish out of the oven, remove the lid and add the cooked root vegetables. Cover and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes to let the veggies warm up.

remove from oven and add cooked wintry veggies

Serve as is, or with mash, rice, pasta, bread or a salad. All I can say is, be prepared to fight over the last scraps in the pan!

Can be serves alone, or, with whatever else you fancy