" I truly think it is best to be a robin lightly dressed concocting soup inside my nest" ~Maurice Sendak

Slow Perfection

When the cooler weather arrives there is one dish I can't wait to make, Beef Stew.
This a french version made with red wine and herbs.

Braising the meat in the oven for hours allows it to become so tender it nearly falls apart.
The heat envelopes the pot instead of being just on the bottom.

I also find the oven method gives the meat and vegetables a rich roasted flavour and colour.
I left the skins on the potatoes, but if you prefer you can peel them.
Herbs de Provence is a combination of herbs used commonly in France.
The blend I use is,
1 tablespoon each of dried savory, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil and fennel seed. Combine all the spices together and store in an air-tight container.
This is a great dish to make on a lazy Sunday afternoon and your house will smell wonderful.
This truly is "Slow Food" at it's best.
Believe me ..it is well worth the wait!

Rustic French Beef Stew

Step One

  • 2 lbs of stew beef
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 celery rib chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp each of thyme,rosemary,parsley, Worcestershire sauce and cracked pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups of beef broth
  • 1/2 cup red wine
Step Two
  • 3 large carrots peeled and sliced
  • 10 small potatoes quartered
  • 3 parsnips peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 can of tomato paste
  • Herbs De Provence to taste
  • small jar of 1/4 cup each of flour and water shaken together.
Preheat oven to 275F
In a large oven proof dutch oven on stove top over medium heat oil and add the meat.
Cook turning often until brown on the outside.
Add the onions, garlic and celery and cook until softened.
Add remaining ingredients in step one and bring to a low boil.
Cover and place in the oven for about 3 hours.

Remove from oven and add vegetables and tomato paste.
If necessary add more beef broth and seasonings to taste.
Raise oven temperature to 375F and return pot to oven for a further 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Remove from oven and pour water flour mixture slowly into the hot stew, stirring well until thickened to desired consistency.
Ladle into bowels and serve.

Wine Suggestion: Pinot Noir


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