Today I’m excited to début another new feature on the blog – in addition to Erin’s fashion expertise, my sweet Mom has agreed to come on board and contribute some of her amazing recipes! Hi Mom!!
Really, I’ve been stealing and sharing her recipes the whole two years I’ve been blogging, so it only seems right you should get some of them from the source herself :) And you may recall those Best Ever Scones she shared once before? Yup, she’s good.
My mom is an extremely busy high school teacher who, until this year, had taken some time off teaching to work as a line cook and caterer. If we only lived in the same town, our joint catering business would certainly already be up and running. She has an amazing passion and talent for food and cooking. I would say more than half of our conversations revolve around food – what we’re making, what we made, what we want to make…I’m convinced she’ll soon be teaching cooking classes instead of high school English. I’ve been telling her for awhile that she would love food blogging and should consider starting her own food blog. Then I realized, Hey, I have a kind-of food blog. It could use some talent! Stop this encouragement and RECRUIT!
So here we are – success!
Mom (you can call her Kim if you prefer, she’ll answer to either ;)) has tentatively agreed to share a recipe at least once a month, maybe more, so cheer her on! Believe me, she has the recipes you want – she fed her husband and 5 daughters with an average of about one family dinner out per year, so she knows her stuff on home cookin’. She also happens to be funny, smart, and a bit sassy.
I’ve been told I take after my mom, both in personality and looks, and I can’t think of a better compliment.
Welcome, Mom!! Thanks for teaching me everything I know and for adding your voice to this fun little family circus :)
I would like to begin by thanking my daughter Anna for allowing me to contribute to the wonderful recipes on her blog. She, and the rest of my beautiful daughters (5 in all!), have proven that the student quickly outshines the teacher also when it comes to cooking.
When younger, Anna told me in no uncertain terms that, while she didn’t mind making supper, she would never, ever bake. She couldn’t even stand the feeling of flour on her hands! When asked what she would eat for baking (since she obviously loved it), she answered that she would just buy things.
Now, she bakes far more than I do, and I am checking her blog for recipes to try! In fact, I just made her Cream Egg Brownies last week and they are delicious! I am also a regular baker of Sarah’s crescent rolls, as you’ll see in the pictures – they always turn out soft and perfect. And I discovered quick, easy, and yummy sweet and sour meatballs from Chelsea – just what I was looking for, for a quick supper or a warm party pleaser.
So I don’t take an invitation to contribute some recipes lightly. Anna and her sisters have set high standards, so I will try not to disappoint. I will start with a recipe that I have made repeatedly because it is special enough for company, easy to set up the day before, makes the house smell wonderful, and never disappoints when it comes to flavour. It is a recipe that is actually easier to make than it is to spell…Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon.
Don’t be turned off by the relatively long ingredient list, or the fact that it isn’t the most photogenic meal around. It is quick and easy to put together, and you can even assemble everything but the final ingredients in your slow cooker liner the day before, put it in the fridge overnight, and just pop it in the slow cooker in the morning. I guarantee that family or friends coming in for dinner will comment on how amazing your house smells. You can’t cook delicious ingredients in red wine all day without your house smelling amazing!
Just a side note: this recipe is easy to make gluten free by just making sure your beef stock is gluten free.
Enjoy served over fluffy mashed potatoes. For bonus points, add a clove or two of garlic to your potatoes when they are cooking and mash it in with your potatoes, or if you’re having an extra special occasion, roast a head of garlic in your oven ahead of time and add that to your potatoes when mashing…perfection :). The recipe also doubles, triples, etc. very well. Enjoy!
- 1 pkg (14g) dried porcini mushrooms (you can substitute regular button mushrooms as well - if you are not using mushrooms, increase stock amount to 1 cup)
- 3 lbs stewing beef, cut into 1” cubes
- 4 slices bacon, chopped
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp each salt and pepper
- 1½ cups red wine, such as Pinot Noir or Merlot (buy one good enough to enjoy drinking the rest with dinner…or enjoy a glass while cooking :))
- ½ cup beef stock
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (I only add this in the summer and fall when it is in my garden…otherwise I always end up wasting the rest!)
- 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 1 tbsp butter or margarine
- 3 cups button mushrooms (small regular mushrooms…if you have big ones, just cut them smaller)
- 2 tbsp sherry or brandy (optional)
- 2-3 tbsp cornstarch
- Soak dried mushrooms, if using, in ½ cup of hot water for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, trim fat off meat and cut into cubes
- In large frying pan, sauté bacon pieces over medium-high heat until crisp. Transfer bacon to slow cooker. Drain fat from pan. Add 1 tbsp of the oil; brown beef in batches, adding remaining oil if necessary. Add browned meat to slow cooker. Drain fat from pan.
- Fry onion, carrot, garlic, salt and pepper over medium heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Reserving soaking liquid, remove mushrooms from liquid and chop; add to pan along with the soaking liquid, wine, stock, parsley and thyme. Bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour into slow cooker.
- (If you are making this ready the day before, cover and refrigerate at this point.)
- Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Beef should be very tender.
- In skillet, sauté button mushrooms over medium-high heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Add to slow cooker along with sherry or brandy, if using.
- Turn slow cooker to high heat. Stir together cornstarch with enough cold water to make a slurry. Add enough of the slurry to thicken stew to desired consistency. Cover and continue to cook on high for another 5-10 minutes to thicken slightly.
- Serve over hot mashed potatoes.
*Source: Adapted from Canadian Living, where you can also find step-by-step instructions/photographs of the original version.