winter meals

Irish Beef Stew (Slow Cooker)


Yield: 4-6

Prep Time: 35 min

Cook Time: 9 hours

Total Time: 9 hours 35 minutes

A slow cooker beef stew that’s easy to prepare. Full of flavor from the beef broth, red wine and Irish beer; the ultimate comfort food.


2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled & cut into ½-inch pieces, approx. 2 cups
2 lbs baby red potatoes, peeled & cut into ½-inch pieces, approx. 2 cups
4 stalks celery, chopped, approx. 1 ½ cups
4-5 carrots, peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces, approx. 2 cups
1 medium yellow or white onion, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 ¾ lbs stew beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp butter, I used Kerrygold salted
2 cups low sodium beef broth
¾ cup red wine
¾ cup Guinness
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp white sugar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
½ Tbsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp cornstarch + 1 Tbsp water
salt and pepper, to taste


Place the chopped vegetables into the crockpot. Rinse the meat and pat dry with paper towels. Salt and pepper the beef.

In a large, heavy bottomed skillet, heat olive oil at medium to medium-high heat. Add beef to the pan and brown on all sides, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one minute, do not burn the garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the beef and add to the crockpot on top of the vegetables

Turn the skillet back up to medium heat. To the skillet, add butter until it’s melted. Add beef broth, red wine, beer, tomato paste, sugar, soy sauce and thyme. Using a wooden spoon, stir the liquids as well as scrape the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil, allow to boil for at least two minutes. Then lower heat to low and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add cornstarch and water and stir together.

Pour broth mixture into the crockpot over vegetables and beef. Add bay leaves and cook on high for 4-6 hours or 6 to 9 hours on low.

Skim the fat from the stew, if needed, before serving.

Cook’s notes:
You can buy a chuck roast or round cut (except top round). I actually looked this up on this site in the store on my iPhone. But then, I opted to buy stew beef already cut up by my grocer’s meat department because I needed less than 2 pounds.

Recipe modified for the slow cooker from Crepes of Wrath.

Warming up

  Winter nights call for a big block of jarlsberg, white truffle honey and some salami. 

   In a perfect world,  winter in new york city would go down like it often does in black and white movie montages: snow dusting the eyelashes of harlequin babes, commuters bustling and smoke rising from the streets as an Ella Fitzgerald track ambles and croons in the background. 

  Meanwhile, in reality, it was -4 degrees in the city the other day (with windchill), high winds fully tilted parallel to the ground as I tried to keep my hat from flying away on the way to the N train. My eyes watered as I looked back to make sure the fresh baguette i had just bought hadn’t been swept away in the gusts that swirled around Columbus Circle.    Headed to Queens to have dinner at my cousin’s house, I knew what we were going to be making on a night like this: that famed prosciutto and sage baked chicken recipe that my mom extracted from some random catalog years ago. We haven’t changed the recipe once because there is no reason to do so. it is perfectly baked comfort.    “Let’s add some dijon mustard?” Allie suggested.   “No, you’re crazy,” I replied.   When a recipe never fails you, it’s best to return the favor.

  The skin on the chicken thighs crisps up at the end while helping lock in the flavors and aroma of the prosciutto and sage underneath.  Ingredients: -4 chicken thighs, rinsed -½ lb. prosciutto di parma -1 handful fresh sage leaves -salt and pepper to taste -2 tbsp olive oil Recipe: -preheat oven to 375 degrees F -coat the bottom of a medium sized baking dish with olive oil -place chicken thighs, skin side up, into the dish. cut small incisions in the skin in order to peel back skin without removing it from the chicken. -place 1 layer of fresh sage leaves (approx. 2-3 leaves per thigh) under skin and follow with one layer of prosciutto (1 slice, folded in half). fold skin back over prosciutto and sage. the skin will lock in flavors. -sprinkle salt and pepper on top of chicken to taste -bake for about 35-45 minutes. -set broiler on high and broil for about 5 minutes or until skin begins to crisp up. -serve and show off. 

Homemade Phô Recipe

Soup Ingredients:

  • 1 box of noodles
  • ¼ pound of thinly sliced roast beef
  • 2 boxes low-sodium / low-fat beef stock
  • 3 jalapeños, sliced
  • 1 bag of matchstick carrots
  • 1 bundle of green onions, chopped
  • 1 lime and its juice
  • ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoon of dried, ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro paste
  • 1 tablespoon basil paste
  • 1 tablespoon dried cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon chili flake
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ⅛ teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • OPTIONAL: 1 white onion, thinly sliced
  • OPTIONAL: 1 teaspoon minced garlic

Garnish Ingredients:

  • Extra green onions
  • Cut up lime and its juice
  • Sriracha and/or Hoisin Sauce to taste


  1. Break up noodles and put in the bottom of a crockpot
  2. Add in jalapeños, carrots, green onions, and all of the spices.
  3. Cut up the lime, squeeze in the juice, and toss in the lime for extra flavor. Add in soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and broth. Stir.
  4. Keep crockpot on low for 6 hours or on high for 3.
  5. Serve in bowls and add in thinly sliced pieces of roast beef to the soup. Allow the meat to warm through. Top with a garnish of extra lime juice and green onions.


  1. We used whole-wheat spaghetti but traditionally rice noodles are used.
  2. Instead of roast beef, another protein like chicken or tofu can be used or you can eliminate the idea altogether and just bump up the amount of vegetables.
  3. While we kept with the beef theme for our stock, chicken or vegetable stock would also be perfectly fine.
  4. Fresh bundles of basil and cilantro can be substituted for the combination of dried and paste versions.
  5. Instead of Worcestershire sauce, fish sauce would be entirely recommended.
Broccoli-Potato soup with Greens

This recipe is absolutely amazing and will help keep you warm and feeling great!! This is also a great recipe to add a few extra herbs to if you need a little bit of magickal boost


- 2 cups chopped red potatoes        - 1 14oz can Vegetable broth
- 3 cups small broccoli florrets         - 2 cups milk
- 2 cups shredded smoked gouda cheese (optional)
- 3 tblsp flour       -black pepper      - 2 cups winter greens

Keep reading

Butternut squash soup, curried chick peas and cauliflower, fresh salad and buttered multigrain bread. It was one of those nights were we weren’t feeling the meat and wanted a variety of dishes. Unfortunately, I only made the soup. My wonderful boyfriend steps up to the cooking plate on nights I come home later from class. 

Soup Ingredients (feel free to double the quantities for more): 

  • 1lb butternut squash peeled and chopped into roughly 1 inch squares
  • 4 white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 2 cups of low sodium chicken broth 
  • 8 sage leaves 
  • A splash of heavy cream 
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil 


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F). 
  • Place the chopped butternut squash in a baking pan and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast on top shelf of oven for about 15 minutes or until you can easily pierce a square with a fork. 
  • Meanwhile, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter in a large enough saucepan for all of the ingredients and sautee the mushroom and onion until tender. 
  • Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until the squash is done.
  • When the squash is ready, remove from oven and transfer the squash to the saucepan. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil once more for about 10 minutes. 
  • Using a slotted spoon, remove the squash, onions and mushrooms from the saucepan and transfer to a blender or food processor
  • Puree until all chunks are no longer visible but maintain a thick puree consistency. 
  • Pour the mixture back into the saucepan with the broth. Stir thoroughly to combine on low heat. 
  • As soon as it begins to bubble, remove from heat. Add a splash of heavy cream and the 8 sage leaves, stir to combine. 
  • Let soup stand for 5 minutes. Remove sage leaves before serving. 


  • This recipe results in a savory butternut squash soup, if you prefer a sweeter flavor, omit the mushrooms and stir in 1 whopping tablespoon of apple sauce at the same time as the heavy cream and sage leaves. 
  • For the savory recipe, try adding other vegetables, like another type of squash or celery.