September 17, 2019

Simple, Real Food: Stews and Entrée Soups

Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon

Winter is now in full swing as we have witnessed the past few weeks.  With freezing cold temperatures, snowfall, ice and the like, it’s a great time to turn to warming foods such as stews and entrée soups.

Some of my favorite meals are slow cooked in my large Le Creuset Dutch oven or, if you have a crock pot, these recipes are perfect.

I find with a one-pot-meal, the day after it tastes even better.  Perfect for company as everything can be done ahead.

So bring on the warm tagines, stews and what I call “kitchen sink” soups.  Just about everyone loves this type of eating and it’s good for you at the same time.

Amanda’s Beef Bourguignon

Serves 8


Red Wine Sauce:

1 Tb. butter

1 onion, sliced

1 carrot, sliced

2 cups beef broth

1 bay leaf

1 sprig thyme

zest of one lemon

zest of one orange

1 Tb. tomato paste

salt and pepper, to taste

2 cups red wine, Burgundy or Cabernet


4 Tb. unsalted butter or olive oil, divided

2 large diced onions

2 tsp. sugar

¼ cup chicken broth

12 mushrooms, stems trimmed, sliced

4 thick slices salt pork, diced finely or ½ pound diced bacon

2 ½ pounds beef tri-tip cut into 1 ¼ inch cubes

Chopped Italian parsley, garnish


  1. In a large saucepan melt the butter over medium-high heat and sauté the onion and carrot until browned about 8 minutes. Add the beef broth, bay leaf, thyme, lemon and orange zests and bring to a simmer. Cook for an hour and then add the tomato paste, salt, pepper and wine. Simmer another 40 minutes. Strain through a sieve and set aside in the same saucepan.
  2. Meanwhile heat 1 Tb. of the butter in a large high-sided skillet and add the onions, sauté them until they are lightly browned about 12 minutes, adding the sugar for the last 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth and deglaze the pan, season with salt and pepper. Remove to a bowl. Add 2 Tb. of butter to the same skillet and sauté the mushrooms over medium-high heat until browned about 5 to 7 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper.  Add the mushrooms to the bowl with the onions. Add the salt pork to the same skillet and sauté until crisp brown, remove to the bowl and drain off the fat from the pan. Set the cooked salt pork aside.
  3. Heat the remaining butter in the same high- sided skillet and sauté the beef in batches over medium high heat to sear, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go. Add the red wine sauce and let it just come to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer until tender about 40 to 55 minutes. Add the vegetables and salt pork and bring to a simmer another 10 minutes..
  4. Serve garnished with chopped parsley.

Chicken Tagine

Serves 6 to 8


1 whole chicken cut into 10 pieces

Kosher salt

1 Tb. white wine vinegar

5 Tb. olive oil

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

1 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. saffron


1 onion, chopped

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. turmeric

2 Tb. olive oil for cooking

¼ cup mixed olives, pitted

2 preserved lemons, rinsed well, or 2 whole lemons, zest and juiced

4 oz. pitted prunes


  1. Rub the chicken with the salt and then wash it with the vinegar. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Rinse and dry the chicken and set aside in a medium bowl.
  2. Mix the oil, cilantro, cinnamon, saffron, salt, onions, garlic, cumin, ginger, paprika and turmeric in a medium bowl. Rub over the chicken and marinate for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat the oven to 350.
  4. Heat the tagine or large deep saucepan and add the olive oil. Add the chicken and sauté until chicken is lightly browned on each side. Add the olives, preserved lemons and prunes. Transfer to the oven and cook for 45 minutes.
  • 2 ½ pounds of leg of lamb, cubed can be used in place of the chicken

Vegetable Chicken Soba Soup

Serves 8


9 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 cups shredded Chinese cabbage

1 red pepper, julienne

1/4 pound shitake mushrooms, sliced thinly

4 scallions, thinly sliced

3 inch piece fresh ginger, julienne

1 boneless, skinless, chicken breast, cut into thin strips

6 oz. soba noodles, cooked, drained

1 bunch watercress, tough stems removed ( Swiss chard, spinach or bok choy can be used instead of the watercress)

2 Tb. rice wine vinegar

1/3 cup soy sauce or Tamari

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

3 Tb. cilantro leaves


1. Bring the stock to a simmer in a soup pot over medium high heat. Add the cabbage, pepper, mushrooms, scallions and ginger and simmer 5 minutes.

2. Add the chicken and cook another 5 minutes. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and serve warm.

Amanda Cushman

Amanda Cushman

Editor’s Note: Amanda Cushman of Simple Real Food Inc., is a culinary educator who has cooked professionally for over 30 years.  She has taught corporate team building classes for over 15 years for a variety of Fortune 500 companies including Yahoo, Nike and Google.  She began her food career in the eighties and worked with Martha Stewart and Glorious Foods before becoming a recipe developer for Food and Wine magazine as well as Ladies Home Journal.  Having lived all over the United States including Boston, NYC, Miami and Los Angeles, she has recently returned to her home state of Connecticut where she continues to teach in private homes as well as write for local publications. 

Amanda teaches weekly classes at White Gate Farm and Homeworks and is also available for private classes.  Her cookbook; Simple Real Food can be ordered at Amazon as well as through her website 

For more information, click here to visit her website.


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