When I made my roasted brussels sprouts, red onion, and yam with quinoa, I knew there was no way I was going to get Jeff to eat it. I'm lucky I've gotten him to eat asparagus and green beans. Brussels sprouts and yams are a long way off, as is quinoa. So I wanted to make him something he'd enjoy that wouldn't require a ton of work on my part since I was making us two different meals.
I found a recipe for beef and tomato stew in Everyday Food, saw that it was a slow-cooker recipe (read: very hands-off), and decided to give it a whirl.
It was the simplest beef stew recipe I'd ever made. There was no searing of the beef, there was no wine, and yet the stew was still immensely flavorful and delicious. About 4 hours after I started the slow cooker, Jeff and I could pick up on scents of stew in the air. It was intoxicating. When the stew was done, the beef was fall-apart tender and richly flavored with tomato and onion.
I threw some rice in the rice cooker when the stew was almost done, and Jeff ate the stew over rice. (I may have snitched a few spoonfuls of stew straight out of the slow cooker.)
And because it was so good and so easy, I ended up making it again a couple weeks later. This time Jeff requested that I add potatoes to the stew and leave out the celery. So here's the new version with potatoes.
Slow-Cooker Beef And Tomato Stew With Potatoes (adapted from Everyday Food, January/February 2012)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced small
4 small carrots, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
3 celery stalks, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (optional)
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
2 1/2 pounds beef chuck, fat trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 pounds baby Yukon Gold potatoes
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, if using, and garlic, and sauté, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes.
Transfer mixture to slow cooker.
Stir in beef, tomatoes, broth, salt, and pepper.
Cover and cook on high for 6 hours, stirring in potatoes (halved, quartered if large) after 2 1/2 hours.
Finding such an easy and tasty slow-cooker recipe was a great way for me to be able to make something that each of us would be happy with. The first stew lasted Jeff most of the week while I ate my quinoa. Since we weren't sharing the same leftovers, our leftovers lasted much longer, and I didn't have to cook again until the end of the week. He took the second stew for lunch the week after I made it. It was easy to pack up and reheated nicely.
By the way, this is exactly how a relationship between a "foodie" and a "non-foodie" can work (...and it doesn't hurt that he does the dishes). Anyone else catch that article?
Do you cook for someone who doesn't like the same things you do? How do you deal with it?