Recipes from My Kitchen

Comfort Food

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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