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This is my favorite time of year to cook—unless I’m on a diet.

I can cook or bake whatever I want. Winter is the only season where any recipe is fair game.

In the summer, I would never dream of making a beef roast or mashed potatoes. Some days even hot BBQ foods are a big turn off. I want foods that will keep me and my house cool. 

In winter, I love foods that warm me up from the inside out. As my mom used to say, “Eat foods that will stick to your ribs, girls.” I would play outside for hours in the snow building igloos or ice skate with my sister. I remember being so hungry when we came in the house, we’d eat half a block of melted cheese with butter on crackers. After our mittens were dry, we we’re back outside until dinner.

Now that I’m an adult, I can’t play outside for hours, so that means I’ll unfortunately be eating a salad a few times a week.


Decadent Slow Roasted Beef 

Serves 6


6 slices of uncooked bacon, diced

3 lbs. beef arm roast or sirloin, trimmed and cut into 1 ½-inch cubes

1 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

2 onions, sliced

4 garlic cloves, chopped

2 cups good red wine like merlot or other good quality dry red wine

3 cups beef broth

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

2 sprigs of fresh thyme

4 Tbsp. butter

3 Tbsp. flour

1 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced 

1 cup frozen peas

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

Salt and black pepper to taste

Parsley for garnish 

6 cups hot mashed potatoes (Recipe at


Preheat the oven to 350F.  Thoroughly dry the beef with paper towels. Sprinkle the meat with desired amount of salt and pepper; set aside. 

In and large Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid, over medium heat, cook the bacon until lightly crispy. Scoop the bacon from the grease and set aside. In the remaining bacon grease, sear the beef cubes in a single layer, working in batches, until each cube is browned. Add bacon, carrots onions, mushrooms, wine, beef broth, tomato paste, thyme, brown sugar, and bay leaves. Stir until mixture is smooth. Bring to simmer and remove from heat and cover the pot with the lid and bake in the oven for 2 ½ hours until meat is very tender when pierced with fork.

When meat is tender, return to the stove top over medium heat. In a small bowl, mix together the butter and flour. Add the flour and butter mixture to the stew. Add the peas. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and remove bay leaves. Season with additional salt and fresh pepper if needed. Spoon mashed potatoes into large serving bowls. Spoon beef stew over the top and garnish with fresh parsley and serve.


Lisa Erickson is a food columnist who loves adventure and food. You can find more recipes by emailing her at

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