Can you tell my mother put posting recipes in my head? It was that and we heard about a family that completely paid for an international adoption by producing their own cookbook. Seriously? So, I toyed with the idea. I was at first intimidated and then overwhelmed. Instead, I thought I’d post a couple of recipes here with my horrible photography skills and no light in my kitchen and then contemplate…

The next recipe on the list is for Stifado. Seriously. That’s the name. I made it first when we were in Iceland. It’s a Mediterranean style stew. I believe it actually originated in Greece. I dearly love it because it’s sweet and salty and warm. I whip it out a few times a year, especially when I get up in the morning and there seems to be a nip in the air…like this morning. The nip is gone, but the stew is already simmering. So here goes…

Stifado 
First, I take a full stick of butter…like I said, I don’t make this that often and plop it into my favorite pan which I should now stop and thing my Mother-In-Law for. Best Christmas Present Ever!

 While the butter is doing it’s thing, I season almost three pounds of stew meat that has been cut into small pieces with this…

 I throw part of the stew meat on the butter. Ideally, I wouldn’t put this much in. Brown it, until it’s caramelized, remove it and replace it until all the meat is nice and brown. There should be a nice brown on the bottom of the pan. I threw too much in and some of the pieces were poaching instead of caramelizing.

 While the meat is doing it’s thing, I chop an onion. Chop it, don’t dice it. It you cut it up too small, it will dissolve. If I can find them, a bag of pearl onions that have been thawed are extra yummy too.

 When the meat is brown, throw the onion in and stir it around then add a 6 oz. can of your favorite tomato paste.

 Then, a half teaspoon of whole cloves. It makes me warm all over.

Next up is a bay leaf. This isn’t in any particular order, just he order I found it in.

 A full teaspoon of cinnamon…

 1/4 teaspoon of cumin. Now it’s getting smokey…

 I throw in a full cup of wine. Yes a full cup and I plan on drinking the rest of the bottle tonight. I always add wine that I would drink.

 Then add 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar.

 Remember that Mojo De Ajo that I made yesterday? Here it is. We had some on popcorn last night. It was on the roasted veggies too.

 I add a heaping tablespoon of the garlicky goodness from the bottom of the jar. If you didn’t go right out and make a big old batch of mojo de ajo, throw in a couple of cloves of chopped garlic back when you added the onion.

 Oh, don’t forget the heaping tablespoon of brown sugar like I almost did.

Okay. Now you’re at where I’m at. Smelling it. It simmers on the stove all day with the eye as low as it will possibly go. The original recipes say don’t stir it too much. I check it occasionally though to make sure it’s not getting dry.

Tonight, I’ll serve it over white rice, with crusty bread and a sprinkle of feta cheese, unless Arleigh’s in charge of the feta. Her sprinkles look more like huge piles. It’s sooooo good. It’s sweet and salty. It’s warm and smells of all the fall flavors I love.

I think I need to go for a run now to get ready for the big bowl I plan on devouring before church tonight.