Beef Stew- for Chilly Weekends

We’ve officially entered Winter on the East Coast, which makes me crave comfort food. This beef stew recipe is great but time-consuming. While the prep only takes about twenty minutes, the cooking time is a lengthy 3 hours. Make it when you are staying in and have some time on your hands. That said, this reheats beautifully for a weeknight supper once all the hard work has been done. Feel free to double the recipe and add your own spin on it. I usually use the vegetables that I have sitting in the fridge. Great additions are small potatoes, celery, parsnips, mushrooms. I’ve adapted this recipe from “Bistro, Casual French Cooking at Home”, edited by Valerie Lhomme. The original recipe called only for carrots, but I like to add a few vegetables, in this case, a large parsnip, assorted mushrooms, and carrots. I also bumped up the garlic factor, because well, you know… garlic. If you decide to forego the parsnips and mushrooms simply add a pound of carrots, it’s delicious either way. The great thing about beef stew is that it’s so versatile and really hard to screw up! Enjoy with a salad and crusty bread! 

Serves 8

The Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. good quality cubed beef for stewing
  • 1/2 bunch Italian Parsley stems removed, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled & sliced into thick rounds
  • 8 large-sized button mushrooms, washed & cut into quarters
  • 1 package brown beech mushrooms, bottom removed (optional, I just had these lying around)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, well crushed
  • 2 large parsnips- peeled, halved, sliced, & cut into thick half rounds (also optional)
  • 2 TBS. butter
  • 2 TBS. olive oil
  • 2 TBS. flour
  • 2 cups red wine (optional, you can substitute a cup of beef bouillon if you’d like)
  • 2 cups beef broth, I like “Better Than Bouillon” but if you go this route, I recommend using 3/4 tsp. as opposed to the full teaspoon the packaging recommends. This is a great product but a bit on the salty side and I like to control my own seasoning.
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 stalks fresh parsley
  • S&P


  1. In a large French oven with lid, heat butter and olive oil. Add onions and slowly brown.
  2. Lightly flour beef and sear until browned on all sides in French oven. Add crushed garlic cloves, 2 stalks fresh parsley, large sprig of thyme, and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Add beef stock and wine. Cover and simmer over low heat for 2 hours. Image
  3. Add vegetables and simmer, covered for 1 hour.


4. Remove the bay leaf, parsley, and sprig of thyme. Chop remaining parsley and add.

5. Enjoy!


Cabbage with Sausage, Baby Potatoes, and Onion

I discovered this recipe while browsing the internet one winter night in cold and grey Seattle. I was craving comfort food. Anyone who has lived in a cold climate for a substantial amount of time knows the importance of comfort food. After battling the elements, you just need a little nurturing. This recipe never disappoints and makes plenty of leftovers for busy week nights. Enjoy! 


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into thin slices (3 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 (12-oz) bottle beer
  • 1 lb smoked kielbasa, cut into 2-inch-long pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium head cabbage (2 1/2 lb), halved lengthwise, then cut into 2-inch-thick wedges
  • 3/4 lb baby potatoes
  • optional spicy mustard


Melt butter in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, then add onion, sugar, and salt and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is golden, about 15 minutes.

Stir in beer, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pot, then add kielbasa, cabbage, garlic, and potatoes and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender, about 1 hour. Remove the lid for the last 10 minutes to allow some of the liquid to evaporate. Transfer kielbasa and vegetables to a large platter.

One hour to go…


September 2004
by Diane Semrad Anderson, Louisville, KY

excellent- Made in 2009 for Adi and Steph