Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fall Stew

Today was the first time in a while I actually felt like have having cold weather comfort food. I watched Julie and Julia today and tossed around the idea of making Julia's Beef Bourguignon. However, then I noticed the recipe had 43 steps! Wow.... that must be some pretty awesome stew. Unfortunately, my family will not get to try it tonight because I was not feeling that ambitious. I'll save that for when I am snowed in. Instead, I dusted off my green Cuisinart cast-iron dutch oven and made my favorite... 5 Hour Stew from Penzey's. In case you are not familiar with Penzey's, it is an exceptionally cool spice store. They have a large variety of spices and rubs. But, I really love the catalogue because it has tons of really good, fail-proof recipes that are simple. We have a store on Chagrin Rd. on the eastside of Cleveland, but you can also mail order products from the website at

In case you are worried that beef stew doesn't actually fall under the healthy eating category... I beg to differ. This recipe has 250 calories and 3.5 g of fat in a 2 cup serving. I did not have to add any additional fats or oils in the cooking process. This makes this dish great for heart health as well as weight loss. To determine if your meal or product is low-fat, follow the rule of thumb which is 30% or less of the food's calories coming from fat. Fat has 9 calories per gram, so if you multiple the stew's 3.5 g by 9 calories, you get about 35 calories coming from fat. This definitely weighs in under 30% of the 250 total calories. Hope I didn't lose you there. Believe me, I am no wizz in math. But, overall this is a healthy meal and if you pair it with a salad and some red wine, you'll be in good shape.

5 Hour Oven Stew

1- 1/2 lbs stew beef

6 cups peeled and cubed potatoes

2 medium onions cut into chunks

4 cups peeled carrots cut into 3 inch rounds

2 cups cut celery

1 -15 oz can of petite diced tomatoes

1 to 2 tsp of salt

1/2 to 1 tsp of pepper

1-2 tsp of oregano

1/4 to 1/2 garlic powder

In a large oven-proof pan combine all of the ingredients with the lesser amount of spices. It is not necesary to brown the meat. Cover and bake at 250 degrees for 4 to 5 hours. 30 minutes before serving, taste the stew and add the remaining spices to your taste. It doesn't get easier than that!


  1. I may really miss beef stew come winter. I'll have to figure something out! This looks delicious-were there rolls with butter, too? And I like your pumpkin tree-of course I noticed it immediately!

  2. Yes, there were the sourdough variety with hard cruchy outside and warm soft middles. We will have to come up with some sort of vegetarian stew so you can get your fix.