Plastic Trees, Plastic Dog

At 6:00AM, I was impressed that Zeke was sweet enough to drag a plastic bag from the end of the hall and puke on it. How thoughtful! After I began to wake up and observe his behavior more closely, he was in fact puking up a plastic bag. Great. Luckily, our vet had an early morning appointment available. All is well, despite Zeke leaving the vet with a serious case of nerves. Meep.

While Zeke was tucked away at the VET sweating bullets all afternoon, I finally made my beef stew. It must have been cosmic karma that I bought the meat for only 28 CENTS. Yep. My dog eats a plastic bag that risks serious complications and the powers that be send me a distracted and chatty butcher that never seems to get the digital scale right. Score.

Again, I didn’t work with a recipe. There’s more of an ownership to working without recipes, and sometimes that ownership is deserved and other times you wish you never claimed your spoon to it. The kitchen is always moving and soon enough, I will be weighing a cookbook page down with a heavy ladle.

Anyway, the stew was delicious. Recipe is as follows.

Hearty Beef Stew

(serves 4)

Prep time: 20 minutes.

Cook time: 2 1/2 – 3 hours


  • 1 lb chuck stew meat, cut in good sized cubes
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh Rosemary, chopped
  • 1 1/2 lbs creamier potatoes, peeled and chopped in halves
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • handful of white mushrooms, sliced
  • a handful of large green olives, chopped in halves
  • one garlic clove, crushed
  • bowl of flour to drench meat
  • half a pound small onions (pearl)
  • one cup red wine
  • one 24 oz can whole plum tomatos, chopped with juice reserved.
  • 1 tablespoon butter, 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Drench meat in flour and brown in a medium deep pot with oil. Once browned, remove from pot and place aside.
  2. Scrap the brown bits with a wooden spoon, add butter and garlic. Saute 1 minute. Add wine and rosemary.  Make sure you are continuously scraping the bottom of the pan to get up any brown bits. 2-3 minutes. Pleasant aroma ensues.
  3. Add potatoes and coat with wine mixture. Once potatoes become purplish, add carrots, mushrooms, olives and onions. Keep vegetables moving. Salt and pepper. 7-8 minutes.
  4. Add meat and stir. Add chopped plum tomatoes and their reserved juice. Stir and lightly coat top layer with flour. Drizzle olive oil and stir. (Remember, how much or how little flour you add determines your gravy. You do *not* need very much flour to achieve this, 1-2 tablespoons is more than enough).
  5. Bring to an extremely light boil, stir to dissipate bubbles and then lower heat, cover and simmer on low for 2 1/2 – 3 hours.

About Hark, Zeke

Hark, Zeke is a Brooklyn based blog devoted to cooking, appeasing the inner foodie and howling the good howl.
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