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parker’s stew and my mom’s dumplings

January 6, 2009

I believe I should only take photos of food in the mid-afternoon.  The light is sooooo much better then.  For some inspiration, take a gander at these food photos from photographer Curtis Trent.  They are just drop dead gorgeous. 

In sharp contrast, I present a photo of my half-cooked stew meat instead.  Taken at 3 pm this afternoon.


Anyhow.  Yes, Parker’s Stew.  This is from my new Barefoot Contessa cookbook, Back to Basics.  Here is the recipe.  I altered it only slightly:  snuck in a sweet potato, left out the mushrooms and peas, and halved the entire thing because we are rotten at eating leftovers and I always make tooooo much food, like I’m stockpiling for a major catastrophe.  I also added a couple of more garlic cloves, because there is nothing worse than a bland stew.

This was an overly-planned meal, because I had to take the stewing beef out of the freezer yesterday, defrost it, and then marinate it overnight in red wine, bay leaves and garlic.  I thought:  this had better be good because I used up a bottle of red wine on it.   I have a really mean cold and have coughed out part of a lung, and the last thing I felt like doing this afternoon was standing over the stove, dredging the beef in flour and browning it.   But I had committed to that damn marinating beef and it was calling me to finish the job, whether I was sick or not.

I’ve made stew before, but the last time it was the Irish variety – which was simpler, more tomatoey and less beefy. 

Ina, the Barefoot Contessa, always comes through in the end.  Parker’s Stew is all those words a stew should be:  hearty and soulful and smoky and rib-sticking.  It tasted of a tinge of rosemary, and the sauce was perfectly thickened with the flour on the meat (I did not do the last step of taking the sauce and mixing it with flour – no need).  The meat melted in my mouth.  The sweet potatoes got all mashy, which is a good or a bad thing, depending on your perspective.  It was, in the end, a good meal for a sick cook.  And her appreciative husband. 

To accompany the stew, I made my mom’s dumplings.  I love dumplings because I’m a carb fiend. 

My Mom’s Dumplings

1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 Tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

In a bowl, mix together dry ingredients.  Add milk and oil and stir until combined.  Plunk by the spoonful on top of the bubbling stew for the last 15 minutes of cooking.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 6, 2009 8:57 pm

    Best. Stew. Ever.

  2. January 1, 2010 7:38 pm

    Sry for writing OFFTOPIC – which WP template are you using? It looks great.

  3. January 1, 2010 8:02 pm

    the wordpress theme is called ‘vigilance’…


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