An ideal Sunday for me is a lazy Sunday. That means plenty of time to catch up as a family with no care/desire to ever glance at the clock and the aroma of our ritual family meal being prepared enticing our senses … continously drawing us all into the kitchen. Some Sundays there’ll be a warm stew simmering; others a flavorful roast or a hearty Pastitsio cooking away in the oven. One thing is for sure: the table will always be set for us all to enjoy a nourishing supper in each others’ company.
We woke up this Sunday to the first snowfall of this winter season. It seemed like the kids finished their breakfast of eggs, fresh bread with butter and honey and a glass of orange juice in mere seconds and then they were off … pulling on layers of clothing, coats, scarves, gloves and boots to run out into the soft, bright, blindingly white snow. By the time they came back inside–rosy cheeks, icy fingers and all–they were ready to unwind with a mug of hot cocoa and some cookies. It wasn’t long before they laid themselves down for a nap without saying a peep and I was off to the kitchen to start supper: beef stewed with thyme, tomatoes and red wine then finished with some okra.
Beef Stewed with Okra/Kreas me Bamies
1 1/2 pounds, top round beef (for London broil), rinsed, patted dry and cubed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped from stems
1/2 cup red wine
15 ounces chopped tomatoes
1/2 to 1 cup water/broth
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 1/2 pounds okra, stems trimmed
Handful of parsley, finely chopped
Heat oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Season beef with salt and pepper and add to pot. Brown well on all sides. Add the onions, garlic and thyme and cook for 5 minutes more. Stir in the wine and bring to a boil. Add the1/2 cup water/broth, salt and pepper, cover pot, reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour.
Stir in the tomatoes and 2/3 of the parsley (add additional water/broth if necessary) and simmer for 20 minutes more until the meat is quite tender. Remove lid and add the okra. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes more, stirring often, until the okra is somewhat soft (I don’t like to overcook the okra as I tend to like this vegetable a bit firmer).
Remove from heat, adjust seasonings and let stew sit for at least one hour. Reheat gently just before serving.