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Food: Dinner Tonight – Beef Stew Updated

My mother is so cute. She attempted a beef stew last night and when I walked into her kitchen to check in on her after the craziness called my life, she told me she had no idea why the meal tasted bland. I took a peek into the pot and noticed, a dozen pieces of cubed beef simply boiled with a few slices of onion and peppercorn – which makes the best of broth, but not really the ideal beef stew without the veggies and some sort of sauce. I reassured her that I could salvage the boiled beef cubes by turning it into a mouth-watering meal with a side of mashed potatoes (her eyes lit up). So guess what’s happening for dinner tonight?


3 pounds beef chuck, trimmed and cubed
kosher salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 shallots, thinly sliced
6 carrots, chopped
2 cups apple cider
1 cup dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon can also use beef broth
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon brown sugar or honey
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cups fresh cranberries
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 1/2 cups dry instant polenta   (or in our household mashed potatoes)
3 tablespoons salted butter  {more}

On another note – what to do with your life in November is an interesting read – although I know what I’d like to do with my life in November, I simply haven’t got the time.

Do you hobby? And if so, what is it? and how do you find the time? 



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