Beef Stew

It was a bit wet and rainy, today, so a beef stew seemed to be the perfect meal. I think it’s funny how people not from here talk about how wet the Pacific Northwest is… A bit of rain or overcast certainly doesn’t stop people from going out and enjoying the day. And nary a raincoat or umbrella to be seen. Much different than the east coast where it really can rain for 40 days and 40 nights – or a hurricane blows in and really disrupts your day. For days.

But back to dinner… Once upon a time it might have been pot pies or a loaf of freshly baked bread, but… the current living situation just isn’t having it.

I never quite realized just how much I used our ovens until I was in a kitchen without one. It’s amazing what we take for granted until it’s gone.

[cue: present political situation]

Stew is one of those things I just make – there is no recipe – yet, my siblings and I all make a very similar stew, based on the stew of our youth. Mom always made a damned good stew – but even her stew varied from batch to batch. She wrote down a recipe for her cookbook years ago, but it is really just an approximation. I don’t think she ever made it the same way, twice. Similar every time, but amounts varied.

Beef Stew Recipe

Mom always put coffee in her stew. I use red wine. And I’m pretty sure she would use a bit of Kitchen Bouquet for coloring. But this gives you an idea of her thought process.

One of my favorite childhood memories is laying sliced bread on the plate and pouring the last of the gravy over…  She did good gravy!

Dinner, tonight, was a two pan feast. I started with the skillet to brow the beef and then pour red wine over and let it reduce. Meanwhile, the pot had the onions, celery, and carrots cooking away.

I added the potatoes to the pot, stirred in the beef, and then added beef broth and let it simmer.

Well… simmer, eventually… I’m still relearning using an electric stove. We have an electric stove in the new house, but there is gas coming in for the heater, so we may switch it out, eventually. We have other things we need, first.

I know I’m going to miss our double ovens – they were sooooo convenient – but we rarely ever used two at a time. I had one set aside almost exclusively for bread baking. It’s really just psychological – I think I’ll be able to survive…

Heck, we’re surviving without having one at all, right now!

Another successful meal and another day closer to moving into our forever home…

Life is good.

Beef Stew

And so was the stew!