Simplicity in the kitchen includes that signature great pot; one with handles and lid, preferably cast iron and which can go from stove-top to oven. The pot does not need to be large or expensive or even new. Many good pots and pans get passed down to the next generation. My turkey roasting pan was my grandmothers and the Griswold cast iron stock pot shown above does service for its third generation. Manufactured between 1930 and 1939, the handle style indicates its age. The 2 and 1/2 quart size and lovely soft patina make it perfect for turning out an amazing broths and stews.
The change of season is a good time to sort through your pots and pans. If you lack that signature pot for making the sorts of dishes you crave, buy one or commandeer one from your grandmother or mother. One simple pot can change everything.
beef stew with onions
3 Tbsp. AP flour
Salt, Celtic Sea Salt preferable, and pepper
2 lbs. sirloin steak, trimmed and cut into 2 or 3-inch cubes
2 Tbsp. grape seed oil
1 large onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
1 potato, cubed
2 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1-inch pieces
1- 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup red wine
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 bay leaves
Preheat oven to 325 ° F. Place flour, salt and pepper in a re-sealable plastic bag. Add beef chunks and toss to coat. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Remove beef from flour with slotted spoon and add to pan. Sear the meat, in batches if necessary, on all sides for 6 - 8 minutes.
Slowly add the broth, scraping the bits of browning from the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining ingredients. Cover and place in preheated oven for 3 hours, or until the meat is fork tender.