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Tuesday, May 01, 2018

beef stew

No, I am still alive.

I keep telling myself that I am too busy to write. There is such a lot of TV to follow: Transparent, The Handmaid's Tale, The Walking Dead, Fear The Walking Dead, Westworld... On top of that there are Pinterest and Minecraft. At other times I simply tell myself that I am too tired, too stressed, too lazy...

Frankly, all of these are just excuses. The truth is that it has become as difficult for me to write as it used to be easy. Where my words used to flow, sometimes even erupt, I sometimes find it hard now to string together a simple sentence.

Anyway, I'm making a concerted effort to write a decent post tonight. Perhaps the (mostly) restful long weekend has had an effect on me, after all. Let's see how it goes, shall we?


On Saturday The One left home just after 7:00am for a band performance that would keep him busy all day. With winter's first chill in the air, I wanted to prepare something hearty for him to come home to and I decided on a nice, rustic pork stew using meat I know we had in the freezer.

Before I could begin, I had to drop off Geoffrey at the doggy salon for his bi-monthly trim, about two months overdue (spot the difference between his before and after pics).

I raced home, quickly mowed the lawn and then set down to putting together what I needed for said stew. I failed to locate the pork in the depths of the freezer (I discovered, however, that it could do with a good defrost and scrubbing). Taking this minor setback in my stride, I decided that it would be beef stew instead. I found this easy to follow recipe online.

Traffic was a joke but I hit the shop and managed to collect Geoffrey on time.

I had to improvise a bit with the recipe. While it calls for 2 pounds (4.5kg by my reckoning) of beef chuck, Queenswood Spar only had a single pack of chuck of 800g. I added a 1.6kg pack of stewing beef and hoped it would be all right. Also, The One cannot tolerate onions so I replaced those with some sad, limp spring onions (it is almost winter). I left out the sweet potato because they only sold it in bulk and added mushrooms instead.

Back home, it took me all of 20 minutes to compose this photo of the ingredients.

I had to prise apart two carrots that had been growing together all their lives. It was very sad but I couldn't manage tears because there were no onions so I carried on peeling, chopping and dicing the veg as needed.

Covering the meat in seasoned flour and searing it took a great deal longer than I had anticipated. I checked my calculations and discovered that I'd bought a lot more meat than was needed.... the recipe only calls for 1kg of beef (when you convert pounds to kilos correctly). Nevertheless, I mixed together another batch of flour and pressed on.

Finally I could add the rest of the ingredients; then I spent another ridiculous amount of time to compose this photo.

By this time it was 16:00 and The One would start making his way home soon. Luckily the pot I had chosen to use was no ordinary one; it was an ancient Tedelex pressure cooker we'd inherited and I knew it would make up for all the time that I'd lost. Fine-tuning the stove to keep the pressure optimal was fiddly but I managed and soon a mouth-watering aroma permeated the house.

The finishing touch to the rustic feel I was aiming at called for the stew to be served on a bed of barley cooked with brown lentils. The microwave gave its final ping as The One drove up the driveway.


There was an obscene amount of stew; much more than we could eat in one go. The One enjoyed it immensely; he finished off the last bit of leftover stew for breakfast this morning.


Pretty successful story, no?

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