Food

Winter Stew

I love soup to the point it’s excessive. I probably have soup for at least one meal a day and never tire of it. I might love winter just for the soup. And while I generally prefer my soups fairly brothy and lighter, this stew is by far the most comforting thing in my normal rotation of recipes.

The recipe is a hodge-podge of many, many I’ve read (googling beef stew in the grocery store) with quite a few adjustments to what I can find and what I like to keep on hand. It’s best when topped with scones, which both thicken the stew and cut through some of the richness. You could easily top with scones simply cut into circles, but I’m partial to the way El grew up with them – filled with ketchup and herbs and rolled up like cinnamon rolls. I too was hesitant at first, but it’s incredible.

these scones are a little too crowded

Winter Stew

Serves 4-5

2 stalks celery

3 carrots

3 shallots or 1 small onion

3-4 cloves garlic

2tbs balsamic vinegar (red wine would be good here, if you drink it)

4tbs tomato paste

Fresh thyme

Rump steak (cut into bite size pieces)

½ c flour (season w/ salt, pepper, dried herbs)

2tbs oil

4 c beef stock

  • Chop vegetables into whatever size you want to eat them at, set aside
  • place oven proof pot on stove, heat oil over medium heat
  • Dredge cut meat through flour, fry off in oil over medium heat till all sides are brown turning as needed (let frond develop on the bottom of pan)
they need to be very flour-y so the stew will thicken later
you’re not trying to cook the meat all the way through, just brown the outsides
  • Pull meat from pan
  • Add onion/shallot to pan and deglaze with vinegar, scraping along the bottom until all frond is loose
  • After onion has begun to go soft, add celery and garlic
  • Add tomato pastes, stir to loosen and let caramelize
  • Add carrots
  • Add meat back to pot, add beef stock and fresh thyme
  • Cover and let simmer for 1 ½ hours, meat should be tender

if adding scones to top of stew, place cut scones on top of the liquid with space between and place pot or dutch oven in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes

Scone topping

1 c self raising flour

¼ c cold butter

Splash of milk

Ketchup

Dried herbs

Shredded cheese

  • Rub cold butter into flour until smooth and crumbly,
  • Add milk until dough forms (about 3-5 tbs)
  • Roll out on floured surface to ¼ inch thick
  • Top with ketchup, herbs, and cheese
  • Roll up (like cinnamon rolls)
  • Pinch seam closed, and place seam side down
  • Use serrated knife to cut in ½ inch thick slices, brush tops with milk
  • Place on top of stew or on tray, bake at 200c or 350f for 15-20 minutes until golden

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Food

Blood Orange Loaf Cake

I’m going to breeze past the fact that the fact that the last thing I wrote was about my 21st birthday and I’m a month away from 22, and instead write about a cake I made last week!

Winter is citrus season, and my love for it has resulted in a series of jokes about how I’ll never get scurvy. There are orange peels everywhere and my microplane is constantly in use zesting something. I couldn’t be happier. In addition to this I’m working out the kinks in a blood orange curd recipe so maybe I’ll keep up the writing and share that? Planning ahead, who knows!

Anyway, I saw a recipe for this cake on instagram and decided at 10am on a Tuesday morning to make it. I’ve definitely tweaked it since, as my desire for intense citrus flavour is too much for most recipes but it was incredibly easy to make and only gets better as it sits!

loaf cake sitting on wooden cutting board covered in pink glaze

Blood Orange Loaf Cake 

adapted from this recipe from Broma Bakery

½ c vegetable oil

2 eggs

3/4 c sugar

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

Zest of 4 blood oranges

2 tsp blood orange juice

½ c Greek yogurt (I used skyr since its what I had on hand)

1 ½ c flour

  • preheat oven to 350F, line loaf pan with parchment paper
  • whisk oil, eggs, sugar, baking powder and soda, zest and juice together
  • alternate adding flour and Greek yogurt to the mixture, be careful to overmix. I sifted my flour in the second time and it helped prevent overmixing!
  • bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown
blood orange sits cut open on wooden countertop

Blood Orange Simple Syrup

Juice of 2 oranges (use from above)

½ c sugar

  • reduce juice and add sugar, stirring until dissolved
  • when the cake comes out of the oven, poke small holes across top and drizzle syrup over the top

Glaze

Juice of other 2 oranges

1 tsp vanilla

1tbs milk

1 ½ c powdered sugar

  • reduce juice from remaining two oranges, remove from heat and add vanilla, when cool add milk
  • sift in powdered sugar, stirring between ½ cups until desired thickness
  • drizzle over cooled cake
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