My mother worked all her life. I was one of those kids, who had a key to the house, instead of my mother opening the door, when I come back from school. Up until I was in middle school, I had a caregiver but after then I did not.
I know a lot of working mothers, who feel guilty because they cannot meet their kids at the door when they come back from school.
If you are one of those mothers, who feel (or felt) guilty, please hear me out.
I am so happy that she worked. Coming home from school and having the house (and the kitchen) all to myself thought me that I am okay to be by myself. I had learned to enjoy the time I spent being alone.
I am not saying that you should leave your kids all alone, all day long. What I am saying is that we all need to learn and love (or at least like) to be alone.
Again, I am so happy that she built a career when I was growing up because when the day came and I left the house, she had her career to hold on to.
I would come home from school around 4:30 pm and she would come home around 6pm. That hour and a half was my time to experiment in the kitchen. By the time she came home, salad and dinner table would be ready. Together we would heat the food, she made on the weekend, for the week ahead.
Years later, when I started working, and with my busy schedule, not being able to find time to cook, I did the same thing; cook on the weekends for the whole week ahead.
This Beef Stew was one of those staple dishes that I would ask her to make all the time. You have to make it on a day that you are home because it takes time and patience to make it. With this way of cooking, the meat becomes so tender and soft; it falls apart as soon as you give it the slightest nudge.
I know a lot of people make Beef Stews in pressure cookers or slow cookers. I have never tried either of those, simply because I do not own them. This is how my mom made it and now, how I make it. I swear, to this day, every time I make it, the house smells so familiar, I feel like my mom is going to walk in the kitchen.
Or maybe, she is in the kitchen with me but I can’t see her…
The recipe below makes a big pot of beef stew. I like it because it freezes very well. I usually divide it in to 2 serving sizes and freeze them. I thaw it in the fridge a night before we plan to eat it for dinner.
I, personally, like to eat it with bulgur, mainly because it reminds me home, but any grain and steamed vegetables on the side would work just fine.Print
Beef Stew (Mom’s Recipe)
- 2 lb. Beef Stew Meat, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 big or 2 medium Onion, peeled and cut in half
- 1 lb. Button or Cremini Mushrooms
- 1 green Pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 14.5 oz. can Tomatoes (in season, 3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped)
- 3/4 cup Vegetable Stock
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper, freshly ground
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoon All Purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon Italian Parsley, freshly chopped
- Using paper towels, pad-dry the meat as much as you can.
- Place meat in a Dutch oven with onions in the lowest heat setting that your stove allows. Close the lid. Let it cook for an hour, without opening the lid.
- At the end of an hour give it a stir and close the lid again. Do not open for another hour. At the end of two hours you will see that the meat releases all its juices.
- Continue to cook for 2.5 to 3 more hours, giving it a stir at end of each hour mark.
- At the end, you will see that it absorbed almost all of its juices.
- Place the cooked beef and onions in a bowl and cover it with aluminum foil. Set aside.
- Do not wash the dutch oven.
- In the same dutch oven,in medium heat, heat olive oil and add the green peppers.
- Cook them for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, for about 10 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, garlic, vegetable stock, bay leaf, black pepper and salt. Give it a stir. Cover with the lid and cook for 15 minutes.
- Add the beef stew and onions in the pot and sprinkle it with the flour. Give it a big stir. Cover the lid and cook it in medium low heat for 30 minutes, stirring a couple of times.
- When ready to serve make sure to take out the bay leaf.
- Garnish it with parsley and serve.