I love this time of year! It’s getting cooler, you can open the windows and let the fresh air in. Sweaters. The leaves are pretty. There’s the subtle excitement in the air for the upcoming holidays. And it’s the perfect time of year for soup. Honestly, I could (and do) eat soup all year long, but it’s just the ultimate comfort food in the fall and winter.
This particular recipe will always be special to me. The last time I made it was Halloween last year. I wanted something I could make ahead of time that could simmer on the stove and make the house smell delicious while we handed out candy to trick-or-treaters. I was also a million months (really 34 weeks) pregnant with the girls, and probably as big as the house. Little did I know it would be the last meal I’d be making for a while.
I remember dancing with Monster to some Halloween music I found on Pandora. My mom handed out candy. Hubs was on his way home from working a really long week. I ate two huge bowls because it was so tasty. Then at 2 a.m. my water broke, Hubs rushed me to the hospital, and I had the girls at 4 in the morning. (Long story short, there.)
When I think about making beef stew now, I think of all those happy memories we made last year. I think it will be a new family tradition to have it for dinner on every Halloween. Plus, once the kids start trick-or-treating, it’ll be great to have on the stove ready for us whether we want to eat before or after going out.
To make it, open the wine, measure out a cup for the soup and pour a glass for the chef. Brown the beef in the oil over medium-high heat. Then add in the vegetables, and stir it occasionally until they start to get tender. Check your wineglass and refill, if necessary. Next in the pot goes the beef stock, tomatoes, and wine. (Not the stuff in your glass, but the stuff you measured out and set aside earlier.) Stir in the seasonings. Bring it to a boil, then turn it down to simmer. I like to let mine simmer and get happy for at least an hour, but if you don’t have that kind of time, it’ll be good to go as soon as all the alcohol from the wine cooks out. While the stew simmers, go relax, put up your feet, and enjoy the rest of that wine. For the record, when I made this last year I did NOT enjoy any of the wine myself.
I hope you enjoy the beef stew and the wine. If you make it, let me know what happy memories you have with it! I’m half-convinced it’s magical. What recipes do you have that just make you happy all over?
- 2 pounds beef, but into bite-sized chunks
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound gold potatoes, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 1 32oz carton beef stock
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with basil,garlic, and oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- Heat oil in soup pot over medium-high heat. Brown beef.
- Add in onion, garlic, potatoes, carrots, and celery. Stir occasionally until vegetables start getting tender.
- Add canned tomatoes, beef stock, and wine.
- Stir in seasonings.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for at least an hour.