Comfort Food

It has been raining all weekend and after a long bout of drought, it is weather much welcomed. I love the rain during winter. It is soothing and calls for soothing foods, comfort foods. One of my favorite ways to cook comfort food during the cold winter months is to make one-pot meals. Growing up, one of my favorite dishes my mom prepared was beef stew. It was rich and thick and a stick-to-your bones kind of meal. Hot, fluffly dumplings topped the stew and sopped up the pan juices.

My version may have a few different ingredients, but the comfort factor is the same. I even bought Bisquick for the dumplings, just like mom used to make {Ok, truth be known, baking is not my forte, so this was a last minute easy way out}. Whatever version you decide to make, I hope it brings you the comfort you want during a cold, rainy winter weekend.

here is my version.....

One Pot Winter Beef Stew

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

For the stew:
2# beef shoulder, cut into 2 inch chunks
1/2 flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup diced yellow onion
1 cup thick carrot slices
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery slices
1/2 cup thick parsnip slices
1/2 cup thick mushroom slices
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup beef broth
1 cup water

For the dumplings:
This recipe makes about 4 large dumplings, so if you want to cover the pot, double the recipe.

1 cup flour
1 Tsp. baking powder
pinch salt
1/2 cup milk

In large pot, heat 2 Tbsp. oil over med. heat. Dredge the beef in the seasoned flour. Saute until meat is carmelized and brown on all sides. Remove from pot and reserve. Add remaining 2 Tbsp oil until heated. Add onions, carrots and celery. Cook until translucent, but not brown. Add wine , deglaze pan and reduce liquid by one-half. Add remaining vegetables, beef, broth and water. Heat just until simmering, cover and place in oven. Cook until meat is tender and sauce is thick, about 2-21/2 hours. To make dumplings, mix dry ingredients and whisk in milk. Let sit for a few minutes until thick. Spoon onto stew.
Cover and place in oven for about 5-10 minutes, until dumplings are fluffy and cooked through.


Buon appetito!

copyright 2007 Alisa Barry

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