It’s a crappy rainy day today and we’ve all been sick for like two weeks so tonight was comfort food night and since I finally got my new Le Creuset (you may have read it was one of my birthday presents) it’s become my new comfort food pot. It’s not the first time I’ve used it, I have a couple of other recipes I was waiting to post first but I decided to just seize the day with this one since I wrote it down as I was making it and it’s ready to go.
I already have enough posts in my “half-assed unedited where the hell am I going with this” folder.
You may notice that as precise as my measurements are when I bake, when I cook I definitely tend to eyeball measurements rather than actually… eh… measure… them. Also I’m extremely lucky to have an amazing butcher who practically reads my mind when I walk into his shop. So all I have to do is say I feel kind of crappy, need a comforting beef stew but since it’s five pm already I don’t have 3 hours to cook it and he’s all over it. So if you have any questions feel free to write them in the comments or email me and I’ll get right back to you cause I’m pretty sure I’ve missed some vital piece of information! So here goes, make this on the first rainy day when you don’t feel like fussing too much but your stomach’s asking for something hearty and comforting.
This is what you need:
a nice piece of beef for stew (cut into large cubes)
1 cup fatty bacon (cut into largish cubes)
1 large onion (diced)
2 separate glasses of red wine
5 or 6 tomatoes (diced quite large)
6 large potatoes (cut into largish cubes)
Dry seasoning to taste – like thyme, oregano, cumin, black pepper, mustard powder (go easy on this)
Fresh herbs to taste – like rosemary, fresh oregano, sage (I would suggest not to use parsley or basil)
This is what you do:
First of all, if you don’t already have it, get someone to buy you a Le Creuset cast iron pot (or any good quality cast iron pot), because you will start the love affair of your culinary life, trust me.
Heat your pot nicely and throw in the bacon cubes, mixing them around occasionally. At this point your kitchen fan should be on high otherwise the entire house is going to smell like frying bacon (again, trust me, I know this from experience) and either your husband is going to come in and complain about the entire house smelling like bacon and what the hell’s the matter with you woman, or he’s going to come in and want to have sex with you, but you don’t have time for a booty call cause you’re cooking stew. So fan On. High.
Once the bacon fat has started melting and your bacon’s browning nicely you add in the diced onions. Once you’ve sweated the onions (and in my case, cried your eyes out, those were some stingy onions), you add in the beef (stove on high). Brown the beef on all sides mixing frequently and then pour in your second glass of red wine (because I know you’ve drunk the first one already, that’s why you needed two). When some of the alcohol has evaporated you throw in your tomatoes, season with salt and whatever dried herbs you’ve decided to use (not the fresh herbs yet) and lower the stove to a low – medium setting, put the lid on it for a good 20 minutes at least, depending on how long you have to cook it overall, the longer the better, occasionally check the liquid level which should just cover the beef at this point, if it gets too dry add some broth or water.
About forty minutes before you need it to be ready add the potatoes and fresh herbs, you may also need to add some liquid at this point and check the salt. Cover it and let it do it’s thing until it’s ready, just check on the liquid level occasionally.
You can have it with some salad or just on it’s own.
Et voilà easiest dinner ever.