Essential reporting in volatile times.

Click here to stay informed and subscribe to The Logan Banner. Click #isupportlocal for more information on supporting our local journalists.
20200925-law-mccormick-col

Hearty Beef Stew is the perfect way to settle in to the cozier, cooler days of fall.

It’s officially fall. While that means nothing different in some parts of the world, here, seasonally, it comes with a change in weather, shorter days, and a shift in mental thinking for some.

We are welcoming all the shifts we can get this year, and this fall one comes with simple delights independent of all that’s happening in the world.

“It’s the simple things,” I’m gathering and harboring in pursuit of the silver lining buried deep in the ever-changing world we live in. Chili, popcorn movie nights, crisp cool evenings with bulky sweaters, bonfires, mum displays in supermarkets and the saved stash of soup recipes — starting with this perfect stew.

Personally, if I have to say goodbye to summer and everything I love about it, which is everything, I begin to close up the summertime activities while I sit on the edge of my seat waiting to soak in the fall colors, where the cooler temperatures invite me to the hills.

The undeniable crunch of fallen leaves, broken twigs snapping with each step and the smell of change brought in by the wind are all my favorite, simple things about this season. But nothing is as exhilarating as opening the door to the warmth and stewing of cubed English roast, vegetables and broth.

In this new norm where working from home has replaced tables and eating is a single event, I am finding myself searching for the best in these new circumstances. The cooler temperatures have inspired me to pull out a few recipes I’ve been saving. The silver lining — if you look close enough, and I am — is that bottle of red wine would not have seen the light of day in the olden days when working was an office event.

This is truly the embodiment of hearty, stick-to-your-ribs soup/stew. It smells like fall. It’s comfort food and the best snuggle-up-to-the-corner-of-the-couch buddy I’ve ever known. It’s fall, ya’ll.

Beef Stew

1 English roast, cut up in 1-inch pieces

1/2 cup red wine

1 quart water

2 cups diced carrots

2 cups diced potatoes

3 bay leaves

3 cloves garlic

1 tsp. garlic powder

3 sprigs fresh thyme

1 T. Rosemary leaves

2 T. olive oil

3 T. cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water

1/2 tsp. salt

In a large stock pan, drizzle the olive oil. Sautee the cubed roast until seared on each side. Add in the garlic, bay leaves, rosemary and thyme. Deglaze the pan with the wine. Stir until all the drippings are mixed. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook for one hour. Add in the carrots. Cook for one hour.

Add in the potatoes and cook for one more hour. When the potatoes are fully cooked, bring the liquid to a boil and add in the corn starch mixture. Stir well. Add in salt to taste.

Janet McCormick is the author of “10-Minute Meals” and owner of Let’s Eat in Huntington. She lives in Lawrence County, Ohio. She can be reached at 304-654-2003 or www.10-minutemeals.com.