This is a post to warm your belly and your heart.
I’M AN AUNT!
My perfect niece Alice Anna was born on Sunday morning. The GS and I grabbed bagels and a big pink headband (we were all surprised by the gender!) and headed straight to the hospital. I got to hold her when she was only like 90 minutes old!
I did spend a fair amount of time doing hearing screenings in a well baby nursery and two NICUs so I feel like I have the authority to say she’s objectively beautiful. I’m so happy for my sister and brother-in-law. They are already the cutest parents alive.
When they got to bring her home from the hospital a couple days later, I wanted to bring over a nice hearty dinner. I’ve made this stew from Chrissy Teigen’s second cookbook three times now, and it’s always a hit.
It’s also something you can easily make ahead and transport. In this case I did the stew ahead of time and made the potatoes at their house, but the first time I made it I did both ahead of time and just warmed them in the oven when we were ready to eat. If you do this with potatoes, you might just need to add a little extra cream or melted butter to fluff them up before serving.
Yet another option for this cold snap!
Chrissy Teigen’s Sleepytime Stew (slightly adapted)
2 lbs stew meat (I used more than this- closer to 3.5 lbs. If you can’t find stew meat, just buy a pot roast and cut it into chunks)
2-3 small sweet onions, diced
3-4 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
1 can white beans
1 jalapeno, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
2 bay leaves
1 box (4 cups) beef stock
5 lbs red potatoes, halved or quartered
4 tbs butter
2 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
In a big pot (ideally a Dutch oven) heat 2-3 tablespoons of butter and 1-2 tablespoons olive oil. Pat the meat dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Brown in the butter and oil on both sides. You’ll probably have to do this in batches. You can add more butter and oil if needed.
Once all the meat is browned, remove it from the pot and set aside. Add the diced onion and garlic, then the tomato paste. Let that cook for 2-3 minutes until it’s rust colored. Add the beef stock and stir around to get all the brown bits. Add the Worcestershire and sugar, then the beef.
Bring it to a boil, then reduce it to simmer over medium-low heat for about 2 hours. The liquid should thicken and the meat gets really tender. Add the carrots, celery, jalapeno, white beans, and bay leaves. Cook for another hour.
About 30-45 minutes before you’re ready to eat, prep the potatoes. Place in a large pot filled with cold water. I typically also throw in a few garlic cloves and some salt to season the potatoes while they’re cooking. Bring it to a boil and simmer for about 25-30 minutes until they’re cooked through (a butter knife goes through and comes out easily). Drain and put them back in the pot.
Now, Chrissy’s recipe calls for a whole stick of butter, a whole brick of cream cheese, and a 1/2 cup heavy cream. I just can’t bring myself to add all of that so you can see my quantities of butter and cream cheese are less, but you do you. Mash them up with a potato masher or give them a quick spin with a hand mixer.
Scoop a big dollop of potatoes into each bowl, then ladle the stew over it.
Not the most photogenic meal, but who needs pretty food when you have a gorgeous baby?
I can’t wait to feed her cookies.