top of page
Search By Tags

Rainy Night Beef Stew

A cold rainy night begs for a warm rich beef stew. The aromas of seared meat and simmering wine fill the house. There's some work on the front end, and then the magic happens during the hours-long simmer. Pair it with grits or rice, and you've got a stick-to-your-bones supper. That's how I would start my cooking show. I would have my arms casually outstretched across the sleek marble island of my stark white modern kitchen with its stainless steel appliances, whimsical Alessi accessories and one white orchid that one of my "people" feeds two ice cubes every week to keep it gorgeous. My hair would be perfect, and my makeup would look effortless - especially the lavender tinted pink lip gloss that took hours to blend into that color you see on the cover of every fashion magazine but can never master at home. My celebrity friends would make appearances to hock their movies and Netflix series while "acting" like we were cooking together. They would toss their movie star heads back as their shiny quaffs cascaded across their shoulders and exclaim that they just don't know how I do it. I would have Julia Childs' self-deprecating humor, Nigella Lawson's sex appeal and Ina Garten's Hamptons-chic sensibility. And everyone would want to be me.

In reality, keeping up with this blog is kind of a bitch. I love writing, and particularly writing a narrative that's honest and informative. I find it cathartic and hopefully not in a navel-gazey, too-much-information kind of way. When I committed to writing my blog, I started out strong, posting once a week. But life got in the way. Last week I remembered to promote my Pumpkin Soup recipe, with great pictures on Facebook and Instagram, which felt like a win until I realized that I forgot to actually post it. So the Food Network is probably not going to be calling anytime soon. And that's ok. Because in reality - while I am leaning against our kitchen island, strewn with sections of the New York Times, a nearly empty pack of dog diapers, smudged coffee rings from abandoned cups, and crumbs from last night's dinner - I'm comfortable in my real life.

Two years into marriage I am more in love with my husband every day (yes - Jeff edited this blog), but Jeff and I are also still learning about each other. Last night we went to a gala that my PR firm promoted. Jeff was kvetching from the start and I felt a migraine coming on. But this is my job and while it wasn't a big money making event for us, it was an important fundraiser for a friend's charity. Once Jeff learned the story, he relaxed into the night. We're not gala people. We're happy at home - just the two of us, not teetering in stilettos or strapped into a suit. Just leaning against our kitchen island and eating something delicious and homemade. But we are both empaths - feeling the pain of others and showing up to support them albeit in super high heels.

The life we imagine for ourselves isn't generally the life we live. But sometimes - it's so much better than anything we could hope for. And while there won't be TV audiences clamoring for my beef stew anytime in the near future, Jeff loved it.

Rainy Night Beef Stew

1 Lb cubed Chuck

2 T kosher salt

2 T olive oil

1 onion chopped

5 carrots chopped

10 turnips

1 T tomato paste

2 T butter

I C red wine

1 pint chicken stock

1 sprig rosemary


Generously season meat with kosher salt and let sit in the fridge for an hour or up to overnight. Remove from fridge about 30 minutes before you start to let the meat come to room temp. With a paper towel rub off the salt. Heat olive oil on high in a cast iron skillet. Add meat and sear on all sides. Remove the meat from pan, lower heat to medium and add chopped onions. Saute until soft and golden. Add meat back to pan with tomato paste and red wine and turn heat back to high. With a spatula scrape up brown bits and cook down the wine for about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add chicken stock, carrots and turnips, rosemary, cover and let simmer for two hours. Remove lid and increase heat to high. Let boil for about 5 minutes. Add butter and reduce heat back to low for another 30 minutes uncovered.

bottom of page