I met my husband when I was only eighteen. I may have been only eighteen, but I was smart. I thought to myself, “He’s the one”. And then I set about to convince him that I was the one for him.
Since my only training in romance had come from Janet Jackson and Madonna songs, and since things didn’t seem to be working too well for those ladies, I decided to just the opposite of what their songs told us all to do.
“What Have You Done for Me Lately”, by Janet Jackson made a big impression on me. It was supposed to be empowering, I suppose, but she just seemed like a real brat to me. “What have you done for me lately….oh, oh, oh ya”. Nary does she mention what she had done for HIM…..lately.
I decided to do some nice things. Different things. Special things. Thoughtful things. Of course, that meant food. I picked wild blackberries and made blackberry turnovers just for him. I taught myself how to make puff pastry. Puff pastry when I was only 18. Yes, that got his attention.
Looking back it’s so sweet, even I almost gag a little. But dang it, it sure did work. And it got us off to a great start. Twenty three years and seven kids later, and we are always looking for little things we can do for one another. That’s the secret to a good marriage, right there. Go out of your way. Make it special. Tell your inner cynic to shut up and just get over yourself. Make it gaggingly sweet.
And make this stew.
Ladies, men love beef stew. This stew is so good, he’ll take one taste of it and say, “Dear Lord, I love her”.
You start with 2lbs of stew meat. Salt and pepper it well, then dust it with flour. 1/4-1/2 cup flour.
Peel and chop 2 onions, and one large carrot. Or two medium carrots.
At LEAST ten cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed. Don’t bother chopping it. It will practically liquefy when it stews.
You take some of the beef fat from My 72-Hour Beef Broth recipe….. About 1/4 cup….
You brown the floured and seasoned meat in the beef fat in a large Dutch oven.
After you brown the meat, throw in the garlic, carrots and onions.
Add 6-7 cups of My 72-Hour Beef Broth (basically the whole recipe), and two cups of red wine. I prefer a cabernet.
Cover your dutch oven and bake at 300 degrees for six hours or so. An hour before it’s done, add four peeled and diced potatoes and a little fresh rosemary, chopped. Cover again and cook.
Please season well when it’s done. A lot of people are still afraid to salt their food, and as a result, homemade dishes are very bland. The right amount of salt will set the mingling beauty of the deep flavors soaring. Soaring, I tell you. Season, taste. Season, taste. Season, taste, until it is just right.
Serve topped with creamy horseradish sauce, which I make by combining equal parts horseradish and sour cream. This stew is great with a little crusty bread. If you want to serve it with a salad, I recommend a strong green like arugula.
Bon appetite. Enjoy. Love. Life’s too short to mess around. Make the stew.