I don’t know much, but I know I love stew

Greetings from maternity leave! Things are settling down here a bit now and with that, I’ve been able to cook a lot more than I was when I was working and busy trying not to vomit while pregnant.

Without further ado, let me tell you about one of the best recipes I’ve tried in a long time: Chrissy Teigen’s “Sleepytime Stew & Cream Cheese Smashed Potatoes”. It’s from her second cookbook (Cravings: Hungry for More) and if you haven’t checked out either of her books, DO! They’re solid and I have yet to be disappointed by any recipe.

The fact that I’m telling you how amazing this stew is means a lot. I’m not a lover of stew. I often find the mixing of meat and vegetables to be revolting. I arrange my plate accordingly (yes, I should speak to a professional). That should give you some semblance of how fantastic this recipe is.

I followed Chrissy’s stew recipe to the letter, but I went off course with the mashed potatoes. Because of this, I’ll offer my experience and review of both. Had I not liked the mashed potatoes, it would’ve been my own fault.

For the stew you’ll start with two pounds of stewing beef cut into 2-inch chunks. Pat them dry and season them with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven or similar heavy-bottomed pot, heat 2ish tbsp of olive oil and one tbsp of butter over medium/high heat. Sear half the beef on all sides until browned. Set it aside when done and repeat with the same quantities of butter and oil and sear the second half of the beef. When done, set that second batch of browned beef aside too.

Leaving only a couple tablespoons of oil/butter, add one medium onion, diced into 1 inch pieces, and 4 cloves of garlic, minced. Cook them for about 6 or 7 minutes and be sure to scrape up any of the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add 1/4 cup of tomato paste and cook until everything is looking a little orangey.

Add four cups of beef broth, 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce, and 1/2 tsp of sugar to the pot.   The beef can rejoin the party at this point. Bring it all to a boil and then reduce to a simmer over medium/low heat from about two hours.

After those two hours have passed, add 2 large carrots and 2 celery stalks (both cut into 2-inch chunks), 1 can of white beans, 1 chopped jalapeño and 2 bay leaves. Keep it simmering for another hour. Be sure to season it with some salt & peppa.

Now…the mashed potatoes:

Chrissy calls for 2lbs of potatoes, peeled and boiled in salted water. I used the same quantity of potatoes.

When they’re done, add an 8oz package of cream cheese (cut into cubes for easier mashing) and about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of milk (depending on your preference). I went with the 1/3 cup and it was just fine. Add 4 tbsp of butter and mash those potatoes to your desired consistency.  I like to add a good shake of Herbamare to my potatoes at this point. If you haven’t tried Herbamare, you are missing out. It’s a mix of herbs and salt and it has some goooooood flavour.

There you have it. Serve the stew over the mashed potatoes and voila! You’ve got yourself a hearty winter meal.  This is low on the hassle scale, really. Like barely registers. Just a little chopping required.

Now, let’s reminisce about the time Chrissy Teigen liked one of my instagram posts.

Version 2

Now let’s look at the stew and mashed potatoes:

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