Sunday, March 20, 2016

Palm Sunday - the tastiest day of Holy Week (thus far)

If every Sunday is a little Easter, then we shall consider this Palm Sunday (2016) a practice run for the Easter feast - because whooee, did we eat some good food today!
Whole wheat apple pancakes with homemade whipped cream, straweberries and (empty) mug of tea
Clearly, I am no photographer. And I'm usually not one to take pictures of my food either, but there's just something about making food myself, with real ingredients, that makes the little girl in me want to hold up a picture and proudly say, "LOOK! I DID IT MYSELFS!" So that is exactly what I'm doing here. (Don't worry. I've already given myself a gold star on my sticker chart too. :) )

So, the food. Breakfast was warm and cheery - what with the strawberries and cream and all - but it was rainy and cold all day today. Got rained on on the way into church. Rained on on the way out. And when it came time to make dinner, it was still raining and I wanted something warm and comforting again. As I was digging through my recipe book I found the Sunday Night Stew from the Pioneer Woman and I remembered that we had some leftover colcannon (mashed potatoes with cabbage) from St Patrick's day that we needed to eat. (Really, who has leftover mashed potates?! This should be a crime against humanity - but blame my kids. Right now, they're on a potato strike). The colcannon recipe comes via, and all of my tweaks are written in below. Hope you love it as much as we did - or at least as much as the hubs and I did, as the kids ate none of it! (Silly kids.)

Print Recipe

Rainy Day Beef Stew with Colcannon

Irish colcannon (mashed potatoes & cabbabge) and beef stew come together for a comforting and hearty cold-weather meal.

Source: Pioneer Woman and

Serves: 4


  • STEW
  • 4 tsp Olive Oil
  • 12 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 pound Beef Stew Meat cut Into chunks
  • Salt And Pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 ounces tomato paste
  • 2 cups Low Sodium Beef Stock or Broth, more if needed for thinning
  • Several Dashes Worcestershire
  • 14 tsp molasses
  • 2 whole carrots peeled and diced
  • 1 whole rutabega peeled and diced
  • 1 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley (optional)
  • 2 12 pounds russet potatoes peeled and chunked
  • 8 Tbsp. butter plus more for serving
  • 14 medium head green cabbage cored and thinly shredded
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 13 cup heavy cream
  • Chives finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Salt and pepper stew meat. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add butter, and as soon as it melts, brown half the stew meat until the outside gets nice and brown, about 2 minutes. (Turn it as it browns.) Remove the meat from the pot with a slotted spoon and put it on a plate. Add the rest of the meat to the pot and brown it, too. Remove it to the same plate. Set the meat aside.
  2. Add the onion and garlic to the pot, stirring it to coat it in all the brown bits in the bottom of the pot. Cook for two minutes, then add the tomato paste to the pot. Stir it into the onions and let it cook for two more minutes.
  3. Pour in the beef stock, stirring constantly. Add the Worcestershire and molasses. Add the beef back to the pot, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours.
  4. After 1 1/2 to 2 hours, add the diced rutabega and carrots to the pot. Stir to combine, put the lid back on the pot, and let it simmer for another 30 minutes. The sauce should be very thick, but if it seems overly so, splash in some beef broth until it thins it up enough.
  5. When the carrots and turnips are tender, stir in minced parsley (if using). Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve piping hot in a bowl with colcannon, letting the juice run all over everything.
  7. Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water by 1"; bring to a boil over high heat, and cook until tender, about 20-25 minutes. My test is to pierce a chunk with a fork and lift - if the potato was tender when piercing and if it falls off the fork on its own, then you're good to go.
  8. Drain, remove to a plate and set aside. Return pan to medium-high heat, and add butter. When melted, add cabbage, and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 5 minutes.
  9. Add milk, and cream and bring to a boil; add back the potatoes, and using a potato masher, mash and stir potatoes until smooth and evenly incorporated. Season with salt and pepper, and decorate with chives.

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