This week the quick easy meal recipe is a nice marriage between French and Irish Stew. The French influences come from Jacques P’epin’s recipe for Beef Stew with Red Wine Sauce, and the Irish element comes from my mind. Along with combining different influences for a fun family meal, my goal, as usual was to create an easy recipe for a quick meal.
Recipe serves four.
1 1/2 lb. Stew Meat (the better the cut the better the stew)
1 C red wine (the better the wine the better the stew -never use cheap cooking wine
1 14.5oz can Beef Broth
10 Mushrooms sliced
2 Celery Stalks – cut into 1/2″ sections
1 medium Onion diced
15 Pearl Onions (Trader Joe’s has them already peeled in the freezer section)
2 Carrots cleaned and cut into 1/2″ sections
2 medium Potatoes cleaned halved and halved again.
1 Rosemary sprig
1 Tbs fresh Italian Parsley
1 tsp Garlic crushed
1/2 C frozen peas
1 Bay leaf
Place a Tbsp of olive oil in large fry pan and brown the stew meat on all sides. Remove the stew meat and saute diced onions in the remaining meat sauce and drippings until soft.
In a large pot place the wine and Rosemary sprig and reduce at low heat, stirring constantly for a few minutes. Add beef stock, stew meat, sauted onions, celery, carrots, Italian parsley, Bay leaf, bring boil and then reduce to strong simmer for 15 minutes.
Add potatoes bring to boil, and then reduce heat to strong simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove Rosemary sprig, add pearl onions, mushrooms, and continue cooking at simmer another 10 minutes or so until the potatoes are soft. Just a couple minutes prior to serving add the peas to the pot.
If you cook the mixture too long the potatoes could dissolve, but no worries just thickens the stew, you still have a great stew.
I think with this hearty meal you can skip the fresh salad, just serve the stew with bread, and top each bowl with a little Italian Parsley and your family will think you cook like a pro.
When I was younger I relocated my residence among various states and even within a single city quite often. I can remember a parent-teacher meeting in Tucson, years ago where the teacher started our conversation with, “I was looking forward to meeting the father of the boy who has attended classes in every school in the Hillside District”. Yeh, high praise indeed.
I guess it goes without saying that I never had time to really get involved in a neighborhood. Until about 16 years ago that is.
That’s when, after marrying She Who Must Be Obeyed, we moved into the home we have lived in to this day. We originally rejected the house without getting out of the realtor’s car. But, after a short sale on the property we wanted fell through, and our lease was up, we decided to take a second, well I guess a first, look at the home we so quickly earlier rejected. We have been there ever since.
The other day while sitting at the beach, I had the realization that neighborhoods have a life cycle that mirrors that of its residents. When we first arrived, only our condo neighbor and us had children residing at home on the block. Then, we became aware of the family behind our home and their toddler boy.
My oldest son left the hood for college, and about the time my daughter was in high school, the neighbors behind us added a girl to their family.
Not long thereafter, we added our own baby boy to the neighborhood. Then we noticed the couple across the street pushing their new baby boy around in his stroller. And off we went, the hood was reborn, babies everywhere.
The years have passed; my older kids are long out of the house and neighborhood, and the first born of the neighbors behind us just started college. Pretty much all the neighborhood babies are now in high school or middle school. Soon, too soon, even they will be gone, off on their own life adventures. And then, that’s it, the kids are all gone, and it’s just us old beach bums left. We will shuffle from one house to another for cocktails at 5, dinner perhaps, or maybe a get together at the beach. But, unless one of our adult kids stops by with a grandchild, the hood will be quiet, no kids skateboarding past the deck, or racing around on their bikes.
Finally one or more of us will relocate, to the here or hereafter, and a new young family will move into our little beach hood. And then it won’t be long until we again will hear happy little voices running around the hood. The hood will have new life, and so it goes. I hope when that day comes a lot of us old beach bums get to experience the rebirth of our hood. In the meantime, I wish I could get that darn Circle of Life tune out of my mind.
Good Eating and Table Talk,
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