If I write another cookbook, I think it will be called “Marie’s One Pot Meals.” That’s what my life has come to lately, what with a new baby on my hip and a toddler running around.
Now I understand why my mother (who raised four kids) has always been such a fan of what she calls “one-pot meals.” It was by necessity. So naturally, I turned to her for guidance when I wanted to make her one-pot beef stew this winter.
She gave me instructions over the phone, and I took notes. Later I typed up a recipe and sent it to her for review. This is what it said:
Pretty simple, right? Well, leave it to my mother to find a way to make it more efficient! This was her response: “Do you really need to stir half-way through?” And she’s exactly right. Why make a recipe more difficult than it needs to be? Don’t.
Mama Hejl’s Beef Stew
Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
Heat the oil in a large Dutch Oven over medium heat.
Add the beef. Brown the beef in the hot oil. Remove pot from heat.
Add carrots, onion, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, red wine, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mushrooms, and butter. Season everything with salt and pepper; toss to combine.
Bake in the oven at 275 degrees, covered, for 3.5 to 4 hours. (Don’t worry if the beef seems tough after 2-3 hours! As the beef continues to cook, it will soften, eventually becoming soft enough to cut with a spoon.)
Serve finished stew as is, or over buttered noodles. Goes perfectly with crusty bread and a big glass of dry red wine!