Beef and Tomato Stew with Beyond The Pale Beer Bread

Sliced Pink Fuzz beer breadI mentioned previously that I was craving meat (check out my previous post for a delicious burger recipe).  To further appease my craving, this beef stew from Williams Sonoma is so easy to make because it doesn’t require any broth or stock, just water and tomatoes to make the base, some vegetables, and of course, slow simmered tender beef, and you have a delicious, hearty stew made completely from scratch. Continue reading


Better Than Fast Food Hamburgers

Burger and saladWe don’t eat much beef but more than made up for it this past weekend.  I was craving a burger which is a rare occurrence for me.  And not just any burger, a double hamburger from a certain large multinational chain with a certain special sauce.  The last time I had one of these burgers was well over a year ago.  Since then, I’ve stopped eating factory-farmed meat, or as someone recently so eloquently put it “sweat shop meat”!  For the past year, the majority of the meat I’ve consumed has been some combination of local, sustainably farmed, organic, hormone and antibiotic free, and, in the case of beef, grass-fed.  I have, guiltily, made exceptions for bacon (after all, bacon is the gateway meat). Continue reading

Cabbage Roll Stew

I’ve never been a huge fan of cabbage, but I do love cabbage rolls.  I had some cabbage sitting in the fridge from our CSA at Waratah Downs, and with the rain and cooler weather we had this weekend, I wasn’t in the mood for coleslaw.

I searched for a new recipe and found this amazing stew!  The original recipe refers to it as a soup but I’m calling it a stew because it’s really hearty and can easily be served as a meal.  I’m also still over-run by tomatoes, and had some peppers and onions from from the Westboro Farmer’s Market, so this recipe was perfect.  Most of the ingredients are in season this time of year and can be found at farmer’s markets.  This stew is sweet and sour and delicious, and tastes very much like cabbage rolls.

Adapted from Eating Well

1 tbsp canola oil
1 pound local lean ground beef
1 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp thyme
2 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups chopped peppers
1 medium apple, unpeeled, diced (we used an Ontario Empire apple)
6 cups organic beef broth
4 cups diced plum tomatoes, seeds removed
1 1/2 tbsp local honey
1 tbsp paprika
3-4 cups coarsely chopped cabbage
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
freshly ground salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven (a large heavy-bottomed pot) over medium heat. Add beef, caraway seeds and thyme and cook, stirring and breaking up the beef with a spoon, until it is mostly browned, about 6 minutes.  Stir in peppers, onions and apple; cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.
  2. Add broth, tomatoes, honey and paprika. Cover and turn heat to high until just boiling. Reduce heat to low and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in cabbage and cook just until tender, 3 to 4 minutes.  Season with vinegar, salt and pepper.

Serves about 6