warming the day: beef stew

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Beef stew is just a hands-down, satisfying winter meal. Like soup, stew has everything you need in a single bowl. It economizes on all fronts! And if you want to splash out, tip some wine into it. I’ve given a shout-out to this recipe before and I’ll do it again, because when it comes to ease of method and maximum flavour, you can’t go wrong with Jamie Oliver’s recipe. It’s straight-up, no-fail fare.

The beauty of stew is that it’s very forgiving, so you can substitute vegies you do have on hand for others you don’t. For instance, I was out of regular spuds, so I used sweet potato. And I don’t really care for Jerusalem Artichoke, so I nixed it and bumped up the other vegies. A generous handful of fresh sage and onions sauteing in olive oil and butter are the building blocks of flavour. The best bit comes at the end, when just before serving, you sprinkle on a mixture of finely grated lemon zest, chopped garlic and rosemary—the stew just explodes. This one is so worth adding to your repertoire.

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