Nov 16, 2008

Dutch Winter Stew

It’s Sunday, just got back from a long walk in the park before the bad weather is supposed to set in. I have plenty of free time on my hands, lots of beef in the freezer, stocked up on vegetables, radio tuned in to the best Motown, northern soul music and my munchkin is napping. What more could a girl ask for?

It’s stew time! I love beef, I love vegetables, let’s just mix it all up and create the perfect thick, hearty stew. If this won’t keep you warm, nothing will!


2 pounds beef
1 large onion
1 large carrot
2 garlic cloves
1 celeriac root
1 leek
3 waxy potatoes
1 tsp sweet paprika powder
2 tbsp coarse mustard
1 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp curry powder
1 cup beef broth
1 cup beer
celeriac leaves
3 bay leaves
salt & pepper


My kind of autumn. Falling leaves, a cold wind and my playing boy closely followed by the comforting smell of a hearty stew.

What a beautiful sight, isn’t it? It really doesn’t matter if they’re bright colored summer vegetables or sober colored winter vegetables, there’s something enticing about seeing them together like this. Judging by the enormous amount of food in still life paintings, I guess I’m not alone.

Now don’t give me that look! Celeriac root is actually a fabulous vegetable! Forgotten, overlooked and frowned upon, but what its flavor does to stews and soups is nothing short of amazing. You really should give it a try, what have you got to lose?

Just cut about 1/2 inch off the bottom, cut the skin off and coarsely chop it.

Use 2 medium or 1 large carrot, peel it and give it a rough chop as well.

Do the same with the onion and grate two cloves of garlic while you’re at it.

Grab a bowl and combine 1 heaping tbsp flour with 1/2 tsp sweet paprika powder and 1/2 tsp curry powder. Give it a good stir.

The meat saga. Just chop it in coarse pieces and add a generous amount of salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Here comes the trick, spoon two tbsp coarse mustard on top, dig your hands in there and rub it all over the meat. It wasn’t until I started this foodblog I noticed how much coarse mustard I really use. It’s fantastic stuff.

Now grab yourself a stew pot. Yes, you can use your fancy Le Creuset and even tell me about it, because look what I bought! Isn’t it pretty? No matter how much I wanted one, I simply couldn’t justify spending E139 ($175) on a Le Creuset. Much to my surprise, I ran into this beauty. It’s a Jamie Oliver (Tefal at home series) stew pot, much cheaper than a Le Creuset but with all the same benefits. It came in a beautiful dark rose color and it looks so incredibly sleek and stylish.

Heat 3 tbsp butter and put your meat in there. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the onions. Give it a good stir and cook for another 2 minutes.

It should be smelling pretty darn good at this point, but we’ll up the fragrance a bit. Add the celeriac root, carrots and garlic. Give everything a good stir and cook for another 3 minutes.

After 3 minutes you can throw in the flour mixture. Coat the meat and vegetables with it and let the flour neutralize for about a minute.

Now the next step will be enough to make grown men cry. I want you to traumatize your husband, yes, I really do! Go over there and grab his bottle of beer. No, no arguing, just grab his beer and run with it as fast as you can. If you’ll wait around to see the look of pure horror and shock on his face, you’re probably going to be too late. Now quickly ‘borrow‘ 1 cup of beer. Tell him you’ll get it back to him later. You will!

Strip a few thyme sprigs and throw them in. I’ve used about 4 sprigs.

Pour the beer in with the meat and add 1 cup of beef broth. Make sure you use room temperature beer! Also throw in a good handful of chopped celeriac leaves.

This is what mine looked like before I popped the lid on. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 75 minutes over low heat.

Now go do something fun!

After those 75 glorious ‘me time’ minutes were up, I dragged myself away from my book and went back into the kitchen to cut up a leek.

Also peeled and chopped 3 large potatoes while I was there anyway.

Not to mention I cut a large handful of mushrooms in half. They’re normally not part of this dish, but if I have them around I always put them in. You can also leave the smaller ones whole.

Add everything to the stew, give it all a good stir and check to see if the stew might need a little more liquid. If it does just add a little water.

Simmer for another 30 to 45 minutes, until the potatoes are properly cooked.

Garnish with a little thyme and a generous amount of celeriac leaves and serve with mashed potatoes. Voila, you’re done!

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    1. 1

      That stew looks so good! I can almost smell it from here. I’ve never used the celeriac – this would be a good time to try it! I have some cubed venison in the freezer that I think would work well with this stew. Thanks for a great post!

      Karen on Nov 16, 2008 @ 6:38 pm Reply
    2. 2

      Celeriac is addictive in stews and soups, it really is, but you can also turn it into an awesome side dish. I often make a mashed celeriac/potato/garlic puree that is great. Gotta love root vegetables :)

      Kay on Nov 16, 2008 @ 7:04 pm Reply
    3. 3

      I don’t use beer in mine … does it help tenderize the meat more? I might have to try that. Celeriac is also something I’ve NEVER cooked with. What kind of a flavor does it provide? You are adding to my shopping list every day girl.

      Oh … and little man is as darling as ever. I can’t believe how grown up he is – seems like yesterday when you announced you were pregnant.

      Kristy on Nov 16, 2008 @ 7:25 pm Reply
    4. 4

      Sorry ’bout that. I’ll make it up to you, I promise :)

      I didn’t have any dark beer around or I would have used that. Beer gives the stew a really great and deep flavor. Celeriac is awesome stuff to cook with! Think of it as a crossing between celery and potato. Very hard to explain, but really good in a stew.

      He grew up so fast it made my head spin, I only turned my back for a split second and now he talks in full sentences.

      Kay on Nov 16, 2008 @ 7:32 pm Reply
    5. 5

      That looks delicious! And your son is so handsome, you must be so proud. What cut of beef did you use?

      Katie on Nov 17, 2008 @ 2:03 am Reply
    6. 6

      I’m incredibly proud of my little boy :)

      I believe you call them tenderloin in the US.

      Kay on Nov 17, 2008 @ 8:27 am Reply
    7. 7

      I’m curious about celeriac. Does it taste like celery? The stew sounds delicious.

      SusanL on Nov 17, 2008 @ 5:00 pm Reply
    8. 8

      I’m curious about celeriac. Does it taste like celery? The stew sounds delicious.

      SusanL on Nov 17, 2008 @ 5:00 pm Reply
    9. 9

      Hi there! My name is Pearl and I’m a new blogger. I found your website and just HAD to comment, because ohmygosh, your photographs are breathtakingly beautiful.

      mmm i could actually smell the stew and feel the warmth from a bowl all the way here, in california!

      hope to keep in touch :)


      Pearl on Nov 17, 2008 @ 5:14 pm Reply
    10. 10

      That looks great! My family would love it. I just saw your post over on Pioneer Woman and popped over here to check it out. The green bean recipe looks great as well, I’m gong to be trying quite a few of your creations, thank you!

      Melanie on Nov 17, 2008 @ 5:21 pm Reply
    11. 11

      It’s funny, I HATE celery but I kind of like celeriac. My dislike for celery is mostly a texture thing, not a flavor thing. I’ve been using it in mixed in with mashed potatoes and have really enjoyed it. I’m going to have to give it a go in the next stew I make.

      As a man I’ll say the measuring of the beer struck me as a bit strange. I think I’d just have poured until I was close and drank the rest :)

      Jeff D on Nov 17, 2008 @ 6:05 pm Reply
    12. 12

      Ik ben hier gekomen via Ree’s blog (The Pioneer Woman). Wat een verrassing om zo’n mooi Nederlandse blog te vinden (met allerlei lekkere recepten!), en in Gouda ook! Ik ben naar Gouda verhuisd in de herfst van 2007. Het is toch een mooie stad en ik vind het geweldig om hier te wonen.

      Ik heb een vraag, ik heb een fantastisch recept voor lavendel brood, maar ik kan geen eetbaar lavendel vinden.. weet jij misschien waar ik dat kan kopen? Misschien op de markt of ken jij een winkel? Ik kan niet op donderdag naar de markt (helaas, ik heb colleges), maar zaterdag is nog te doen. Oh, en waar heb je die lepeltjes gevonden?

      Hehe, sorry voor alle vragen.

      Tric on Nov 17, 2008 @ 6:13 pm Reply
    13. 13

      Where did you get that Translator for your blog. I want to start a blog and I love that feature!!! Thanks.

      Rhia on Nov 17, 2008 @ 6:40 pm Reply
    14. 14

      Forgot to click the follow up button. I like that feature too!!!

      Rhia on Nov 17, 2008 @ 6:41 pm Reply
    15. 15

      Hi there, came here from Ree’s website. Great storyboards! I am going to cook that stew this weekend. I am looking forward to finding and trying the celeriac root. Thanks!

      MousE on Nov 17, 2008 @ 7:01 pm Reply
    16. 16

      My goodness that is one beautiful looking stew. Other than celeriac I have everything in my kitchen. Guess I’m off to the store

      This was my first visit to your blog and I will be back! (Love the photos- wasnt sure what waxy potatoes were- but thanks to the photos I do! And I have them in my pantry)

      Shannon on Nov 17, 2008 @ 7:05 pm Reply
    17. 17

      Rhia, they’re both simple wordpress addons. I don’t have the url anymore where I got them from, but if you google wordpress plugins you’ll find lots of these things listed.

      Kay on Nov 17, 2008 @ 7:21 pm Reply
    18. 18

      Hoi Tric,

      Was een leuk uitstapje om voor iemand anders zoiets te doen :) Heb je Erica (de reformwinkel) in de stad al eens geprobeerd?

      Die lepels kun je bij het kookwinkeltje in de zeugrenstraat kopen of bij Woerdman op de markt!

      Kay on Nov 17, 2008 @ 8:11 pm Reply
    19. 19

      Jeff, what can I say? I’m a girl, I take to wine :)

      Kay on Nov 17, 2008 @ 8:12 pm Reply
    20. 20

      Nee, ik ken die winkel helemaal niet, waar ligt ie? En ik zal bij Woerdman gaan, want ik vind die lepeltjes mooi!

      Tric on Nov 17, 2008 @ 9:15 pm Reply
    21. 21

      Tric, als je voor Woerdman staat is het geloof ik een winkel of 4 naar rechts toe.

      Kay on Nov 17, 2008 @ 9:17 pm Reply
    22. 22

      Ah, bedankt! De volgende keer dat ik in het centrum ben, zal ik er langs lopen. :D

      Tric on Nov 17, 2008 @ 9:20 pm Reply
    23. 23

      Great recipe! I’ve only used beer when making chili, but I’m definately going to try this, and the ground mustard is inspired. One question, when I was taught to make stew, I was instructed to put the potatoes in long before adding the carrots. Is there a reason you put the carrot & celeriac before the potato?

      Mares on Nov 17, 2008 @ 9:51 pm Reply
    24. 24

      I discovered your website through and I just wanted to say that all of your photos and recipes look amazing! Ree has some competition! :) I’ve been in a cooking rut lately but your website inspired me to plan a trip to the grocery store later and start cooking again. I’m going to try several of your recipes within the next few days. Thank you!!!

      Tia on Nov 17, 2008 @ 9:51 pm Reply
    25. 25

      Mares, there actually is! The specific flavor of the celeriac and the natural sweetness of the carrots are two of the reasons the gravy in the stew is so amazing.

      Kay on Nov 17, 2008 @ 9:54 pm Reply

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