Herbs, Uncategorized

Resolutions,What’s yours?

Every year I try to add a few things I want to do for the New Year to my resolution list. If you don’t make it to hard it will work. Last year I wrote down everyday what I did, kind of interesting to look back on. Also Mike and I kept a love jar and ended up with a good size amount of quarters 🙂 So this year I am writing down everyday something I did good in that day, whether it was big or small, and also at least once a week cook something out of ALL the cookbooks I have. I say all the time I am going to do this and never REALLY follow thru consistently but I am going to try my best this year. So today I am cooking an “Apple Cider Beef Stew” Recipe Follows:


For the beef:

2 cups cloudy apple cider
A pouch of store-bought mulling spice or make your own in cheese cloth: 1 cinnamon stick, a curl of orange peel, plus star anise
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
6 slices good-quality bacon, chopped into 1/2-inch-wide pieces
1 piece beef sirloin or round (2 1/2 pounds), trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
Salt and pepper or steak seasoning
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 medium onions, root ends attached, sliced into thin wedges
3-4 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced on an angle
2 parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced on an angle
3-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 large fresh bay leaves
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
A handful of fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup thick Worcestershire sauce, such as Lea & Perrins brand (regular Worcestershire or steak sauce may be substituted)
About 3 cups beef stock
For the mash:

4-6 starchy potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 turnip, peeled and sliced
Salt and pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
Whole milk, for mashing
1 1/2 cups super sharp white cheddar cheese (a 6-7-ounce brick), shredded
Serves 4-6

Pre-heat the oven to 325°F.

Mull the cider over medium heat until it comes to low boil, then reduce heat to low to keep warm.

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the EVOO and bacon, crisp the bacon then remove to a plate. Pat the meat dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper or steak seasoning. Coat in the flour, seasoned with allspice, cloves, nutmeg and cumin. Shake off the excess flour and add the meat in batches to the hot pan and brown very well; remove to a plate.

Add the onions, carrots, parsnips, garlic and herbs to the Dutch oven and season with salt and pepper. Sweat the vegetables for a few minutes, then remove the mulling spices and deglaze the pot with the cider, scraping up all of the drippings. Let reduce for a couple of minutes, then stir in the Worcestershire and stock, bring to boil, add the meat and bacon back to the pot, cover and transfer the pot to the oven. Bake for 2 hours. Turn off the heat and let stand for 30 minutes in the oven while you make the potatoes.

Cover the potatoes and turnips with water and bring to a boil. Salt the water and cook until just tender; drain and return them to the hot-pot. Season with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg, then mash the potatoes and turnips with milk until almost smooth. Stir in the cheese and adjust the seasoning.

Remove the lid off the stew, stir and remove the bay leaves. Turn on the stove and thicken the sauce for a couple of minutes if the stew is not at the desired thickness – the sauce will thicken rapidly to your preference.

Serve the meat in shallow bowls with large spoonfuls of potatoes alongside.


This is where I started, I prepared every ingredient before I started and I made a few changes

♥ Used a 3 1/4 lb. chuck roast

♥ I bought a jug of already made Apple Cider instead of making my own

♥ I sprinkled Montreal Steak Seasoning onto my Beef before I plunged into flour

♥ Used ground Nutmeg instead of fresh

♥ For the garlic I roasted a head of garlic smashed it with a little olive oil and a splash of Apple Cider and added to the onion mixture

♥ I peeled and chopped 2 Honeycrisp Apples and put in with the onion mixture

♥ I did not have Turnips to add to the mashed potatoes but would like to try next time

♥ I added a big handful of chopped chives

This was so yummy we cleaned our bowls, it is for sure a keeper and you must try it.


1 thought on “Resolutions,What’s yours?”

  1. AN OFFICIAL NOTICE: I am so blessed to be the MIL of the precious person who owns this blog. Melina is an exceptional person who is a gifted cook, homemaker, wife, and mother. I have never visited in their home when she made me feel anything other than cherished and welcome. She is a most gracious hostess.

    Melina, I love you with all my heart.

    Mom Buxton


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s