Recently, Sam Sifton, editor of the New York Times food section released a cookbook, See You on Sunday which made me quite excited, as his recipes are generally really solid, and I’ve cooked approximately a billion of them. (note: I just checked, it’s 27)
Apparently he’s been promoted to another job, so good for him. I hope it doesn’t mean he leaves the food section. If you’re not signed up for the Cooking at NYT newsletter, you should do so. I always, ALWAYS learn something from it, even if I’m not into the recipes, he usually adds a few things that he’s reading, watching or listening to at the end of the newsletter. The link to sign up is here, and it is free. You do need a subscription to access the recipes though. You can, however, subscribe to just the food section, if you’re not into the newspaper itself, which gives you access to hundreds of thousands of their recipes, reader comments, and help from their editorial staff if you get stuck on a recipe.
To be perfectly honest, reading the newsletter has helped ground me during these crazy times. Sam’s got a measured, calming writing voice, and it helps to read that he’s been having emotional trouble with the pandemic, with cooking during it, and all the stuff that he misses about being out in the world.
I picked up this book on Kindle, and when I was trying to figure out what to cook for dinners last week, started reading through it. The book is meant for gatherings of friends and family – big, easy, crowd pleasing recipes. I’m in. I love that type of food. I love that type of party. I’m a little sad that I won’t be able to cook for people like this for a while. However, reading through the recipes in this book made me feel considerably more inspired to cook, which is good, because as I’ve mentioned before, I was losing my cooking mojo a little bit.
The first section of the book is on chicken, which is great, except that by the time I got through the chicken section, I’d already tagged 15 recipes and had ingredients for four of them written down. Given that Chris was about to make his amazing chicken parmigiana, I figured I should probably not go with four chicken recipes on a week where we already had one chicken dish, and skipped ahead to the other chapters.
Eventually I landed on the Beef and Guiness Stew recipe, which seemed appropriate for the weekend, because despite being early May, the weather decided to bless us with a polar vortex, which meant that it was snowing in parts of NYC. Hearty beef stew sounded like just the thing.
Prep was super easy, the whole thing took about 3 hours (including 2 hours and 40 minutes of hands-off time in the oven), and overall, fantastic. The leftovers: gone. It’s a classic Irish stew, simple and easy: mushrooms, carrots, celery, onion, butter, beef, Guinness and a little bit of flour. That’s it. I added Worchestershire sauce, because the dish needed a little something something. But the Guinness (and salt and pepper, of course) was really the star of the show. The beef wasn’t the greatest cut of meat, we were limited in choice, however, this stew more than made up for it, and the meat came out incredibly tender and juicy. No complaints, not even from Georgia, who has the most meat texture issues of all of us.
Chris made some amazing mashed potatoes to go underneath it. They were a little bit spicy, and quite creamy, and I gotta tell y’all, I’m very lucky to have a partner who has such an amazing palate, and perfectly seasons foods to complement whatever they’re being served with.
Georgia loves the dish, the other two kids didn’t try it, but I imagine Francis would have been all over it if he’d tried it. Lucinda would have eaten the potatoes. 🙂
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