Surgery Day means Comfort Food – Best Beef Stew!

We were so happy that Tony’s blood level didn’t drop too much after he stopped taking blood thinners so that didn’t have to spend a day or two before surgery in the hospital.  We had to call Saturday night and were told to be at the hospital this morning at 7:15 for his 8:30 hernia surgery.

My SIL took the day off too to keep me company which will be nice!  Thanks Jody!  Not knowing how long Tony will be in the hospital, or what his appetite will be like, I decided to make him pure winter comfort food – rosemary sea salt Artisan bread and beef stew.

I love the smell of baking bread – pretty sure that’s my favorite kitchen smell.  I ended up brushing the top of the bread with a bit of milk so the dried rosemary and sea salt would stick.  I also made slightly smaller loaves, so this only needed to bake for 20 minutes.

If you are afraid of yeast breads, don’t be.  Here is their quick video on how simple it is to make this bread.

The best is when it is slightly cooled, the crust is still really crunchy, but the inside is so tender.

Our store had cut up beef stew meat for $5.99 a pound.  Um, I don’t think so.  So I ended up buying a boneless chuck roast and cut it up myself.

There wasn’t a whole lot of fat, in fact that first group up front I put in my dutch oven just to render out the fat, then browned my stew meat in the rendered fat. 😀

The cinnamon and brown sugar were weird ingredients to me, but it totally works.  When I seared the meat the outside almost carmelized and gave the stew a whole new flavor that I loved.

Beef Stew (adapted from here)

  • makes six servings:  386 calories, 13 fat, 31 carbs, 4 fiber and 29 protein) (according to eTools only 5 WW points!)


  • 2 pounds boneless chuck roast, fat trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • ground pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 can or bottle of beer of choice
  • 1 pound potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cup red wine

Heat a dutch oven over medium heat.  Add trimmed fat and cook until fat renders out.  Remove pieces and give them to your dog when they are cooled – he’ll be your best friend then.

In a large bowl mix flour, salt, pepper, paprika, cinnamon and brown sugar.  Toss the meat with olive oil, then toss the meat in the flour mixture.  Sear the meat in batches, making sure not to overcrowd and add canola oil if necessary.  Remove the heat to another bowl.

Pour in the beer and deglaze the bottom of the pot, and let the beer reduce – about 5 minutes.  Add tomato paste, garlic, canned tomatoes and beef broth.  Simmer another 10 minutes, then add the meat back in with the carrots and potatoes.

Put a lid on it, and simmer over medium-low heat for 2 hours, or until the potatoes are tender.

I used a lone Sam Adam’s Summer Ale leftover in my downstairs beverage fridge.

I will never use any other type of meat for beef stew again – the meat so so flavorful and tender!  Tony deemed both the bread and stew “spectacular!”  Just what I was going for.  Most of us know who shitty hospital food is, so I was glad to make a winning dinner. 😀

I am bringing the leftovers for me and my SIL for lunch – they have microwaves in the hospital cafeteria.  I am also bringing us a fruit salad on the side.

Thanks again for your continued thoughts and well wishes for Tony today – keep em coming!  I can confidently say this will be his last surgery of 2011 and fingers crossed we don’t have any in 2012!

Make it a great day!

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  • hmursch
    December 12, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Awww……….lots of good wishes for Tony today. Keep positive thoughts today, Biz!

  • Marisa @ Loser for Life
    December 12, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    There is nothing like homemade bread! Looks delicious, Biz!
    Hugs and prayers for you and Tony, today!

  • Helen
    December 12, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Hugs, prayers and all good vibes being sent for you and Tony! Glad your SIL will keep you company. Keep us posted.

  • Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats
    December 12, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    This is also the bread I’ve come to love. It’s so easy and tastes great. I actually served it at a dinner party we had over the weekend!

  • Erica
    December 12, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    I dont know what looks better-the stew or the bread! I bet both smell amazing as they cook! Hope all goes well today! Will be thinking of you two

  • Anne Marie@New Weigh of Life
    December 12, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Praying for you guys today!

  • Aimee
    December 12, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Good luck to Tony today. I’ll be thinking of you both. Thanks for the bread making tutorial. There’s still time left for me to check baking homemade bread off of my list of things I want to accomplish this year. Yours looks delicious.

  • Bonnie
    December 12, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Hope all goes well with Tony’s surgery and he’ll be up to enjoying those comfort foods very soon! That bread looks delicious!!


  • Marcia @Frugal Healthy Simple
    December 12, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    yummy yummy and good luck Tony!

  • Rachel @ Mommygetsmoving
    December 12, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    A speedy recovery to Tony. Let’s hope for no more for a long time. You paid your dues:)

  • Marie@feedingfive
    December 12, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    That photo of your bread could be in a book, I love it so much I just have to make it. Actually I have made that recipe before and it is so easy, why haven’t I made it lately?

    Cinnamon & sugar beef? Now that soup is on my menu for this week as well, it looks so good.

    I actually made a $60 prime rib last night. I followed Cooks Illustrated method of slow roasting at 200 degrees for about 4 hours. Super good but it said it was done when it reached a temp of 125, I would definitely cook it more next time.

  • Shelley B
    December 12, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Hope everything goes perfectly for Tony today – sending all good vibes his way!

  • spinach&spice
    December 12, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    Wishing the best for Tony!
    And thanks for that video. I admit, I’m scared of yeast! That video makes it seem much easier. Also that beef stew! We’re huge stew people in this family (ultimate comfort food!), but do you have a substitution for the beer? Unfortunately I don’t always have access to it, lol. Maybe another cup of beef broth?

  • Jenn @ Cooking Aweigh the Pounds
    December 12, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Sending you all positive vibes!!! *hugs*

    Bread and stew is totally my comfort food too. Salt and carbs = yum!

  • Lori
    December 12, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Hope Tony is all happy and recovering right now! Here’s to no more surgery.

  • Joy
    December 12, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    Im praying for you and tony

  • Marion
    December 12, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Bless you two! I hope everything leads to a speedy recovery.

    🙂 Marion

  • Roz@weightingfor50
    December 12, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    HI Vat. Sending warm wishes and electronic hugs across the miles to you and Tony!!!! Take care of yourself while you take care of him!

  • LisaK
    December 12, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    Sending good healing thoughts. You got to love the coumadin… DH has been on it for sixteen years, through three surgeries.

  • tj
    December 12, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    Sending good thoughts for Tony!

    That stew looks FANTASTIC! OH YUM!

  • Jody
    December 13, 2011 at 1:13 am

    best sil in the world!!!!

    • biz319
      December 13, 2011 at 4:42 am

      Thanks for hanging with me today Jody! 😀

  • melindard
    December 13, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Hope all went well with the surgery and praying none in 2012! Great looking comfort food for you. This is the second beef stew I have read about today, interesting.

  • Fran
    December 13, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Hope the surgery went okay for Tony. Still fingers crossed here.

    This Dutch girl is curious what a Dutch oven is 🙂

  • Lori
    December 13, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Wow – you weren’t kidding about comfort food! Fresh baked bread with butter melted in the nooks & cranies…HEAVEN! That beef stew… I think I’ve said it before Biz, I’m moving to IL…I need to be close to your kitchen!
    Can’t wait to read the updates on Tony’s surgery!

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