I loved winter as a kid, and now that I have a kid I love winter again, but during the in-between years winter and I were not friends. Now, I love playing with my daughter in the snow and the hours spent on a toboggan, and even how she “helps” me shovel the driveway. Even more than that, though, I love the comfort food that comes with winter: hearty soups and stews that really warm you up inside. The smell of a pot of stew on the stove or in my slow cooker, especially if it’s my all-time favourite stew to fight winter’s chill — Hey! I can still fight it! — makes me want to cuddle up with my daughter under a blanket and watch Frozen for the eleventy-billionth time.
There is something about a hot, hearty meal on the stove that just makes me feel completely at peace in my home. I think it goes back to being at my grandmother’s house–she was always baking something, so the smell of food cooking or baking makes me feel love, and loved. Also probably explains my love of eating, but I digress.
I’m not as big on baking as Nana was because it’s too exact a science for me; I prefer the willy-nilly recipe-changing creativity that cooking a meal brings. To me, the main ingredients are the guts, the rest are just suggestions and I really enjoy experimenting with flavours.
And now you’re all the lucky recipients of my all-time favourite stew; it takes a while to prep and cook, but trust me when I tell you it is worth the effort! It’s also freezable, but don’t take it out and let it thaw gradually–the ice melting makes it watery. Put it in the microwave first, to flash-thaw it, then right into a big pot.
I originally received a version of this recipe years ago from somewhere, but I’ve changed it over the years to include the flour, red wine, worchetsrhjifufjnckjsnnjshire sauce, and peas. It was a little bland to begin with, and the added flavours really bring out the individual flavours.
I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as we do!!