Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snowpocalypse II Beef Stew

We're supposed to get another 14-21 inches of snow starting after midnight tonight, and despite several unseasonably warm days, we still have 8-10 inches of snow on the ground from the Christmas storm plus some additional snow last week. Needless to say clinic will be closed, and I'm cooking up some stew for a warm and cozy snowed-in day tomorrow. With that amount of snow, the plows can push up banks 4-6 feet high at the end of the driveway - they probably won't melt completely until late April or May! Well, here's the recipe of the evening (as usual, thrown together):

*Carton of beef broth
*Glug glugX 30 or so of red wine
*A pound of grassfed stew meat (usually I would brown this but I was feeling "slow and gentle cooking methods" today, or perhaps "lazy.")
* one onion (chopped)
* three small potatoes, peeled and chopped
* 2 carrots, chopped
* 1/4 cup cooked rice (to thicken - leftover excess from fried rice in the fridge)
* 4 marrow bones, roasted at 350 in the oven on a cookie sheet for half an hour, then put with tongs into the stew
* 2-3 stalks of celery, chopped
* a bit of baby spinach, chopped
* Celtic Sea Salt®, Light Grey, By The Grain & Salt Society, Coarse Ground, 1 lb, pepper, kelp flakes (that's just the amazon link - of course I don't use a pound of salt!)

Boil on high for a bit, then set to low and boil for a long time. Toward the end I will add some chunks of pasture butter and maybe even some olive oil. Remove the bones before you eat! I usually use 2 bones, but I found a source of grassfed marrow bones not 2 miles from the house, so now I don't have to wait for my (infrequent) 50 pound orders of grassfed beef + marrow bones from my home state. This will feed four of us several times for a couple of days, so I don't sweat the rice and potatoes.

Here's a picture from a previous winter - maybe I will have some new ones tomorrow!


  1. Dr. Deans,

    What a lovely stew. My most recent was similar, with celery and turnips, in the crock pot.

    Grass-fed beef and bones are grand, I agree.

    All the best to you for a happy, snowed-in day. :)

  2. I will be snowed in slightly farther south... I'm thinking venison chili (sans beans), will be on the menu!

  3. Any Texan will tell you real chili is made without beans.

  4. Although I miss those snowed-in days in a nostalgic way, I'm looking forward to 70 degrees and sunny as it's predicted to be in my neck of the woods over the next few days. The nice weather doesn't stop me from making stews though. I just bought some pastured goat neck + bones for my next batch of crock-pot stew. When I use marrow bones in the past, I've never browned them before putting them in the stew. Is there a benefit to doing so?

  5. Aaron - I've heard it makes it taste better, also makes it a little more melty if you are going to eat within a couple hours of starting as I did. For crackpot I wouldn't bother. The meat was really, really good without browning, by the way. Very tender. I think I'll skip that step in the future.

  6. The crockpot is awesome. I just throw everything in the morning on low and when I get home in the evening it is perfect. A lot of times I don't even thaw the meat out. Don't forget the apple cider vinegar, it will help to break down any connective tissue and will help to dissolve more of the minerals from the bones. I have been using Australian lamb shanks lately because they are so cheap at the grocery up the street. They also have a lot of connective tissue which adds a lot of gelatin to the stew. I will have to try browning the marrow bones sometime that sounds like a good idea.


  7. Justin - you are right I forgot the vinegar! I always put it in but just slipped my mind last night. Maybe the wine did the trick?

  8. Justin, you are spot on about the apple cider vinegar. The mark of an excellent bone broth/stew is that it congeals in the fridge to the consistency of Jello.

  9. i made ALMOST the exact same stew this week! it is FREEZING IN mississippi which is SO odd haha. i added purple potatoes, turnips and rutabagas though... it went fast haha


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