Poor guy. He's the one who is forever missing specialty dishes at home when he travels for business. Then he comes home on a weekend and volunteers to take on Sunday dinner. He favors hearty, manly foods like stews, braises, and lotsa meat. Last week, he pulled out his trusty Beef Stew recipe, courtesy of epicurious, and made a generous tub in advance of Hurricane Sandy's arrival.
Now, I know better than to make unsolicited suggestions to someone who is willing to cook dinner for me. At least not to his face. But I have to say that the beauty of a stew is that all of the ingredients are tossed in together, simmered to tenderness and spooned out later. This version requires a lot of different pots, many steps, at least one massive strain of hot ingredients through a colander, two versions of cooked vegetables (one for the stock, which is discarded, and one to simmer during the final hour of cooking and eat.) In sum, an awful lot of fuss for a meal that, in my mind, should be simple.
However--and this is a biggie--you can't argue with the results. The stew is delicious, and I am spared both the cooking and the cleanup. I am also given another night off, because this recipe makes enough for about 10 people, so I normally freeze half and save it for a(nother) rainy day.
He started by searing the meat, removing it from the pot, setting it aside,
preparing the braising liquid with wine, veggies, broth, and seasonings....
Served with roasted golden cauliflower, crusty bread and a simple green salad, the stew was pretty great. Followed by my brown butter apple tart (to be featured in upcoming post) we were well fortified to withstand the anticipated storm.