My dad died four years ago today. He had lung cancer, which followed adult-onset diabetes. He loved his comfort food. When he was in hospice care the last four weeks of his life, they let him eat whatever he wanted. And you know what he ate? Chocolate milkshakes. He had fought for his life the last 10 months, eating a very strict diet to try to manage his blood sugar while the cancer ravaged first his lungs, then his spine and finally his brain. He earned those shakes!
I remember the last meal I cooked for him. He came to visit me about 3 months before he passed away, and asked me to make spaghetti w/ meat sauce. He loved my cooking. I'm sure he thought I'd make a great wife and mom someday. Or at least that's what I imagined he thought (he was sort of old fashioned about that stuff). Apparently when my husband-to-be asked my dad for permission to marry me shortly before my dad died, he said “I don't know why you'd want to go and do a thing like that, but if you really want to, go ahead.” Nice, dad.
Anyway, my dad loved comfort food, especially meat. Yesterday, in his honor, and for my husband who married me despite my dad's warning, I made beef stew (in a slow cooker). Simple, hearty, tender beef stew with market-fresh potatoes and carrots, and grass-fed beef. My dad would have loved it, just as my husband and I did.
Simple Slow Cooker Beef Stew
2 lb chuck or tip roast
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb new potatoes, cubed
1 small bunch carrots, tops removed, clean and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 small onion chopped
¼ cup red wine
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
beef or other stock
fresh herbs (I used parsley, oregano and thyme) and bay leaf
Salt to taste
1 whole dried pasilla pepper
Turn skillet to medium heat and place 1 tbsp oil in skillet.
Sprinle salt and pepper on roast.
Pean sear roast about 4 minutes each side until brown.
Place veggies in a slow cooker.
Add browned meat.
Cover with enough stock to cover meat. Adds herbs and pepper.
Turn onto low for about 6 hours, or until meat is tender.
Enjoy with fresh, crusty bread.