Beef Stew and Fresh-Baked Bread

The weather was wet and chilly all day long.  Perfect for a pot of stew and a loaf of bread.  I’ve been craving a stew for a while now, but the weather just wasn’t cooperating.  It finaly did, today.

My recipe for stew is pretty basic – beef, potatoes, onions carrots and celery.  Garlic powder, a splash of red wine, beef broth…  I don’t go too crazy when I’m making plain ol’ comfort-food stew.  No recipe.  I just throw the stuff in the pot .

My mom used coffee in her stew.  It made for a really rich broth.  Back in those days, we had a coffee pot going in the house 24/7.  Someone was always brewing or drinking a cup.  It was easy to add – it was always available.

I tend to eschew the coffee in favor of a cup of red wine, although if there’s coffee in the pot, I’ll always throw it in.  It really does add flavor and you don’t taste “coffee” when you do it.

And I made more bread.

This egg white recipe really rocks!

It is crusty-crunchy, soft and chewy.  It’s my favorite of the no-knead breads I’ve tried thus far!  And it is so simple.  It’s adding 3 egg whites in the measuring cup to make 3 cups total of liquid, following the basic recipe, and brushing the bread with an additional egg white before going into the oven.

It is seriously good!