Recipes from My Kitchen

Comfort Food

on December 17, 2011

In keeping with trying to clear things out of the pantry, and the fact that it’s December and really cold outside, today was a comfort-food kind of night.  I had most of the ingredients on hand, so this was pretty easy to throw together.

On the menu tonight was an Irish Stew (another one-dish dinner!!) – but instead of beef, I used deer meat (fresh, too, since I shot it in November :-)).  Brown the meat (typically beef or lamb) in some oil in a pot, then throw the whole thing into a bowl to save for later.

Saute’ some onions in another little bit of oil, then add in some minced garlic and tomato paste.   Side Note:  tomato paste is one of those absolutely-necessary kitchen staples, but you never need a whole can.  So I do one of two things: 1) get a large can of tomato paste, then load it into a sil-pat ice cube tray and freeze it.  After it freezes, overnight, I pop them out into a ziploc bag and then I have lots of 1-tbsp-sized tomato pastes for future cooking;

or 2) buy this tube to keep in the fridge.  Both are super easy.  After the tomato paste is added, throw in 1/4 C flour to coat,

then deglaze with a stout.  You only need 1/4 C (or a little more) – it will cook long enough to get rid of the strong flavor.

Then add in one can each chicken and beef broth.  I might not have added enough, it calls for 2 C each, but this is pretty darn close, and I wanted a thicker stew.

Add back in the meat,  all the juice it’s been sitting in, and a few sprigs of thyme.  Bring to a boil then simmer for ~1 hour (I think I did it for about 45 min).  While that is cooking, chop up the carrots, potatoes, and some cabbage – you won’t need a whole head of cabbage (stay tuned for cabbage soup tomorrow!!) so I stick the rest in a ziploc and throw it back into the fridge.

After simmering, add in the carrots and potatoes, and cook until soft-ish (~12 min), then throw in the frozen peas (about 1/2 a box) and the cabbage.  Cook 5 minutes.  Serve with your favorite bread!!

This was such a good dinner for a cold winter’s night.  And we had plenty left for lunch tomorrow.  I am not a fan of winter and cold weather, but I will admit that this is the perfect time of year for comfort food, and I plan to take full advantage of it 🙂



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