Turnip and Beef Stew

Full Disclosure:  I have a banana cake recipe that is sitting in my queue but I was too embarrassed to post yet another sweet recipe.  I just had to put this one in between.  So Reader, I give you Turnip and Beef Stew... bet you're wishing that I'd just gone ahead with the banana cake.
Now turnip is not the first thing I run to when I'm preparing awesome winter recipes.  To be honest, I'm not a fan.  Not a fan at all.  You know it's a bad sign when even the cookbooks will tell you to make sure that your turnips are young and small.  They're better apparently when they're young.  Yeah... whatever... it's now March.  I've learned that the ideal time to eat turnips is during the months of January and February.  Sigh.

This stew is a great way to use up some not so sweet turnips.  It's heavily spiced and the beef balances things out nicely.
On a completely unrelated note, last weekend the Toronto classical music world lost one of it's own.  My friends at work are really struggling with the loss.  Although I was not acquainted with the person, it's once again given me pause to think about the brevity of this life.  In the scheme of this planet's timeline a human life span is barely a speck.  However, that life span is the only one we've got.
I've often thought that doing what I do - biking, running, yoga, cooking, gardening, singing... all that kind of crap - was to help me live longer.  Over the last few years though I've started to realize that those things are not at all any guarantee of a longer life.  Sure they might buy me a little something here and there but let's face it, when you're number is up... well, it's up.  All those things that I do, they're part of what makes me a richer, deeper more spiritually connected person.  Now, I've spend the last few years of my life re-evalutating my religion from top to bottom and I'm not about to tell you that I have any clue what's happening after my days on this planet.  It could be nothing... it could be the whole enchilada.  I can tell you though that I'm not going to hedge my bets on a possibility of something  that no one can tell me about because they're all gone, ie. not with us anymore.  I'm going to lean heavily on what's here and now.  I'm figuring that any god worth his salt will understand and appreciate the fact that I've done the absolute best and most that I could with what I've been given.  I'm going to let myself be passionate and scared and exhilarated and conflicted and sometimes crazy.  I'm going to make sure that I hug my kids and say to them what I really mean underneath all the other crap that comes out of my mouth.  I'm going to appreciate that I have a D to share my life with and know that even though my life isn't perfect that's it's just effing amazing that I have a life to live.

So, although turnip is not my favourite thing to put in my mouth pretty much anything gets about 100% better when mixed with bacon and some stewing beef.  And look, life is way too short not to eat bacon.

Turnip and Beef Stew adapted from Williams Sonoma website
serves 6

1 1/2 lbs (although I did not weigh my meat) stewing beef, cut into approximately the same sized pieces
1/3 cup all purpose flour
pinch of basil, oregano, thyme, paprika, chipotle powder or chili powder, salt and pepper
3 tbsp oil or butter
4 cups turnip, diced (about 2/3 of a large turnip)
2 strips of bacon, diced
2 small onions, sliced thin
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups greens (collard or chard), finely chopped
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
2 heaping tbsp brown sugar
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp each oregano, thyme, basil
2 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
2 cups beef or vegetable broth
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup tomato paste

Combine the flour and pinches of seasonings together in a bowl.  Dredge the beef pieces so that each piece is completely coated with the flour mixture.  Save the unused flour just in case you need it to thicken the sauce later.
Heat a heavy bottomed dutch oven or pot over medium heat.
Add the oil or butter to the pot.  Brown the beef together with the bacon.  Once the meat is browned remove it to a plate and add the onion and turnip to the pot.  Turn the heat down a bit and brown the onion and turnip together for about 7 minutes.  Add in the garlic and cook together for another 5 minutes.
Add the meat back in with the vegetables.  Add in the Worcestershire, Soy Sauce, brown sugar, bay leaves, herbs, salt, paprika and chipotle powder.  Mix well together.  Add in the broth, ketchup and tomato paste.  Mix well.  Cover and turn the heat down to low.  Cook together for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  Check the tastes and adjust if necessary.  Add a little flour to thicken the mixture if necessary.
Serve with rice or mashed potato.

Apple Loaf with Glop (tasty glop)

Oh my.
We decided to end our March Break with a bang.  We had planned a trip up north of the city last weekend but kid #1 was sick so we postponed it to the very last day of the break.  Honestly, it was the best thing we could have done.  The weather was perfect (if it were June) and it was inspiring to see my friends again.

I've talked about these friends before.  I feel lucky to have people like this in my life.  People that just 'get it' and 'get me'.  When I'm with my friend C I feel like I can let all my crazy cook/gardener/conspiracy theorist/ apocalypse prophet out - right out there.  In public.  In conversation and all.  We talked about her garden  - which makes me nuts coming from the city and realising the ridiculous amount of work that goes into her garden.  It's hard to take in.  We talked about the fruit trees and the nut trees that they're planting.  We talked about the chickens and turkeys that they're going to start keeping.  We talked about how their solar panels are actually putting energy back into the grid and making them money.  We talked about the dogs and about how I can get a side of beef from their closest neighbours any time.  C gave me a bunch of seeds.

Moss in Bloom

We also talked about maple syrup mostly because we took the kids to a sugar bush which felt totally weird because it was no less than 23 degrees outside.  We couldn't quite take a walk through the bush because it was pretty wet and muddy.  We did, however,  take a horse wagon ride (in which the horses had to trudge through a lot of mud - awesome for kid #2) and ate some pancakes and beans after that.
The story wouldn't be complete without a picture of the horses from our perspective.
After heading back to our friends place we took a long walk in the gorgeous sun and let the dogs (read: kids) get tired out.  Of course I couldn't show up empty handed so I made some bread.  Bread is a funny thing because I find that sweet bread can quite quickly become too sweet.  I was skeptical about the need for glop because of my previous experience with sweet breads.  I had also sprinkled the top of the bread with some candied nuts just before baking.  So with that in mind I kept the glop on the side.  After taste testing I can tell you honestly that the glop made this bread sing.  Absolutely sing.  In lovely dulcet tones.  We all agreed.
The Bread before the Glop.
The Bread after the Glop.  I must add that this picture was taken by Kid #2... he's 5.
Apple Loaf with Glop adapted from Pass the Sushi

1 1/2 cups shredded apple (peeled first)
1/2 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 lg eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 cup candied walnuts or pecans coarsely chopped


3/4 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp heavy cream
3 - 4 tbsp maple syrup (not table syrup)

Grease and flour a regular loaf pan.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, ginger and cardamom together in a bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl mix together the apples, brown sugar, buttermilk, oil and eggs together.  Mix thoroughly.  Add in the flour mixture.  Mix until thoroughly combined.  Pour into the loaf pan and bake for about 45 - 50 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Sift the icing sugar (I skipped this though) into a bowl.  Add the cream and 3 tbsp of the maple syrup.  Mix and add a little more maple syrup if needed to get the consistency you like.  Gloop onto the top of the loaf only once the loaf is completely cooled.

The kids weren't the only ones tired out.

Powered by Blogger.

Archivo del blog

About Me

My photo
St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.

My Favourite Cookbooks

  • Naparima Girls High School Cookbook
  • The Silver Palate Cookbook
  • More-with-Less Cookbook
  • Moosewood Cookbook

About Me

My Photo
Wanda Thorne
St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.
View my complete profile



Blog Archive



FBC Member