I shared many good laughs with several of the contestants from the previous year.
Meanwhile, I got to experience the entire thing with dear friends from the cooking contest world, my husband Vaughan, and our son Matthew who came out first thing in the morning despite a very late Friday night to support his mother.
We all had a great laugh later because he ended up sitting directly in front of a cheering section that had crazed fans ringing bells and an air horn. That'll teach him to party before hanging out in the foodie world!
After having a blast walking, and dining, and dancing in the fast paced world of the big city, it was lovely to turn down our quiet country road today where the only traffic we had to dodge was a couple of ducks waddling across the lane.
So with slowing things down in mind, I decided on a lovely braised Italian Beef Stew over a bed of amazing - and I do mean amazing - cheesy polenta - a recipe from Katie at Dishin and Dishes.
I have never had any success making polenta prior to this evening but this recipe and step by step instructions from Katie has changed everything!
This might just be my favourite recipe creation and combo of the New Year!
Slow Braised Italian Stew
For the printable stew recipe click HERE
For the DishinandDishes recipe click HERE
- 1 lb good quality stewing beef
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 540 ml tin Aylmer's Accents Garlic and Olive oil diced tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- Toss the beef in balsamic vinegar and let marinate 30 minutes
- Add the garlic salt and cayenne pepper to the flour, stir well.
- Sprinkle the flour over the marinated beef and toss well so that the beef is well coated on all sides.
- Heat the olive oil over medium high in a large non-stick Dutch oven and saute the onions and beef until the onions are soft and the beef begins to brown.
- Add the garlic and continue you to saute1 minute.
- Pour in the can of tomatoes and add the bay leaves and cinnamon.
- Bring to the boil and then turn to low and cover. Braise and simmer for 2-4 hours.
Serve over a bed of cheesy polenta.
Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.
Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.