Late September and early October in Minnesota are typically glorious; lots of sunshine and a few 75 degree days. I usually feel bad for my kids this time of year. They are stuck inside at school and miss many of our most beautiful weather days. As one of our local meteorologists says this time of year, "it's another top 10 weather day".
Summers in Minnesota are warm, but very humid, actually downright sticky. Once school starts and summer turns to fall the humidity drops and the sun shines for at least 10 hours a day.
This fall we have not had any top 10 weather days. I would say the last 3 weeks have been some of the worst fall weather I can remember. Highs of 50 degrees, cloudy, rainy and miserable. My daughter typically plays flag football on Tuesday nights and 4 of our games have been cancelled due to excessive rain. Yuck!
We usually continue to enjoy grilling and eating outside at the start of each school year. Not this year! We have been inside way too much. Honestly, I am not ready for this. Yes, I do live in Minnesota. But, I am not used to hibernating until mid-November.
Unfortunately, this year hibernation preparation started earlier this year. Coat closets have been cleaned out, summer clothes put away for 7 months and I have had to start cooking more. Grilling is so much easier. You don't have to clean a pan or a pot and there is something magical about just throwing something on the grill.
This fall I have had to return to old favorites like lasagna, casseroles, soups and stews a lot sooner. Ellie Krieger's Hungarian Beef Stew is one of my family's favorite hibernation recipes. I love it because it takes a minimum amount of hands on prep time. Basically, you prep the beef and add hearty vegetables, red wine and caraway seeds and let it simmer for 2 + hours. My house smelled so good yesterday while the stew was brewing. The caraway seeds start to burst at the one hour mark calling my family into the kitchen. In fact I caught both of my kids and my husband stirring the stew. This was comical to me. I typically don't get much help in the kitchen. I should make more dinners like this stew. I might just turn one of my kids into my sous chef.
Beef Stew Recipe Adapted from Ellie Krieger:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1.5 pounds boneless chuck roast cut into 1 inch pieces
- salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 medium yellow onions chopped
- 1.5 teaspoons of pre-minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons gluten free flour
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 cup Red Wine
- 1.5 cups beef broth (gluten free)
- 1.5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes cut into 1 inch chunks
- 2 medium carrots chopped into small circles
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- In a large dutch oven heat the oil over medium heat. Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper. Brown the beef on all sides and remove it from the pan.
- Add the onion and cook until softened.
- Add the garlic, flour, paprika, and caraway seeds and cook for one minute.
- Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes or so, stirring the pot and scraping the bottom of the pot.
- Add the broth and beef. Cook for 75 minutes on low with a lid on the pot.
- Add the vegetables, raise the temperature to medium and simmer for 20 minutes partially covered with the lid.
- Lower the temperature to medium-low and cook until the vegetables are tender (25-40 minutes).
- This recipe could be a good challenge recipe if you are following the FODMAP program and are in the challenge phase. You would want to only use the onion or garlic. Remember to add this recipe to your food journal and write down how your gut responded. You would also need to purchase a safe beef broth. For more information about FODMAPS link to my article: FODMAP, A Closer Look.
- Lately I have been purchasing wine from Scout and Cellar. Their founder, Sarah Shadonix, scouts vineyards around the world that are committed to creating clean wine. Wine that doesn't contain added sugars, pesticides, and chemicals, and is low in sulfites. The best part of this recipe is that you need to open a bottle to cook this stew. What a great excuse to have a glass of wine!
- Ellie Krieger is one of my favorite chefs.
Another Favorite Hibernation Recipe:
Jack and Grace's Favorite Lasagna: It is made with sausage and ground beef and my other favorite seed: fennel seeds.