I am freezing. All. The. Time. I wear scarves in the house.
Scarves, people! It’s tragic.
Being cold makes me want two things more than anything (barring Spring, of course): a fireplace with the prerequisite hot chocolate and stew. But it can’t be just any stew; it has to be a put-meat-on-your-bones, rich-like-our-farming-ancestors-used-to-make-it stew. This heritage Beef-Vegetable Stew is both of those things.
This is a rich, hearty, feed your soul type of stew. It is packed with tender meat, turnips, carrots, and potatoes. You’ll want to make sure to serve it with bread so that you can soak up every last drop.
I found a recipe for Beef-Vegetable Soup in my Better Homes and Gardens Heritage Cookbook, which you will remember from my Beef Stroganoff post. They reprinted the original recipe from the hand-written Monroe Family Cook Book. I can only assume they mean President James Monroe.
But…I couldn’t resist adding just a little something. Hint: It’s the wine! The American colonists didn’t really cook with wine in the 1700’s, but it really intensifies the flavors of the stew and allows you to get all the yummy browned-meat goodness from the bottom of the pan after deglazing.
My Husband abhors thin stews. He firmly believes that if you call it a stew then it needs to be thick, and I have to agree with him. I was in the kitchen trying to get this stew to cook down to an acceptable consistency when my Husband meanders in to check on dinner (i.e. find out when dinner would be ready).
I complain to him of my problem and say that my Mom would simply add potato flakes to thicken it, but I don’t have any of those. He looks at the thin stew and then at the loaf of Irish Soda Bread fresh from the oven and suggests thickening it with some bread. Sometimes the man is such a culinary genius!
So he rips off a hunk and just tosses it in. It’s comical now but at the time I was horrified! “You couldn’t have crumbled it first?!” I admonished him. “It’ll be fine; you’ll see,” he smirks as he takes the spoon from my outstretched hand.”
And he was right. Just like he was right here.
The Irish Soda Bread had currants in it, which I actually LOVED! Who knew?!
This hearty, heritage Beef-Vegetable Stew will hit the spot! It almost makes this weather enjoyable. Almost. Well, maybe if I had a fireplace too.
You can head over to The Kitchn to read more about choosing the right cut of beef for your stew, because it will make all the difference in the world! Promise.