WIAW: Chicago Beef Stew

Posted by Lauren

Happy WIAW! New to our blog? Check out the About page if you have a moment…. Not new? We love you, welcome back!

Tuesday began with a banana, oat bran, and a cup of coffee. I waited diligently until noon to eat lunch, when the trays of Mexican food (rice, beans, tacos, quesadillas, chips, etc) arrived at our office. We have Taco Tuesday’s every week, so I’ll spare you the nearly identical photo of my beef taco salad plate. We asked the admin who places the order to switch it up next week… I’m crossing my fingers for some huevos rancheros or breakfast burritos! Around 3 pm I snacked on an apple. Just what I needed to hold me over until dinner…

Ole-Yo-Hun dinner #2! (Also known as the monthly tradition where Sarah (high school bff) and I join Cindy and Mike for a delicious home-cooked meal and a chance to catch up. Last month we had dutch oven bread, chicken parm, and apple pie!)


Cin has all of her Christmas decorations up! :)

Last month, Sarah suggested beef stew and Cindy d-e-l-i-v-e-r-e-d. WOW.


See the muffin tin in that photo? Do you know what’s inside of them? I guessed popovers, but they’re actually yorkshire puddings! I had no idea that’s what they looked like! According to Wikipedia, a 2008 ruling by the Royal Society of Chemistry states that ‘a yorkshire pudding isn’t a yorkshire pudding if it is less than four inches tall.’ These were definitely tall enough!

We missed having Natalie around tonight; it’s not the same without her. Hurry up and come home for the holidays, girl!


Dinner: side salad, Chicago winter beef stew over rice, glazed carrots, and THREE yorkshire puddings


After dinner, Cin showed us where the beef stew recipe came from: the Jan 2012 InStyle Magazine. I searched on their website for a copy of the recipe for link purposes, but couldn’t find one. This recipe is TOO GOOD not to share, so I’m copying from the clipping directly!

The Never-Ending Chicago Winter Beef Stew - from InStyle Magazine

This insanely delicious one-pot meal infuses beef with layers of exciting flavors: salty fish sauce, tart vinegar, and sweet fruits (including pineapple, which also helps tenderize the meat). While prep time is just 30 minutes, the stew needs to simmer for 4 hours for ideal tenderness, so allow ample time in advance.


3 tbsp vegetable oil
3 lb. beef, cubed chuck
2 medium onions, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, mined
1 pineapple, peeled, cored and diced
1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced
pear, peeled, cored, and diced
1/2 cup red wine
1 quart chicken broth
2 cups apple cider
1 can (16 oz.) diced tomatos
3/4 cup fish sauce
3/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp sambal paste
Freshly ground black pepper and salt


  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil over high heat in a large soup pot. Add half of beef to pot and season with 1/4 tsp pepper. Brown meat (5-7 minutes) and remove. Repeat with remaining beef. Remove from pot and set aside.
  2. Add another tbsp vegetable oil to pot and lower heat to medium. Add onions and garlic and sauté until onion is translucent (about 3 minutes).
  3. Add pineapple, apple, pear, and wine. Simmer to reduce the liquid by half (about 5-7 minutes).
  4. Add cooked beef along with chicken broth, cider, tomatoes, fish sauce, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, mustard, and sambal. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
  5. Cover and simmer until beef cubes fall apart easily when poked with a fork (a little more than 4 hours).
  6. Serve immediately or keep warm in a 200 ºF oven for up to 30 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning before serving.

There were a lot of complex flavors going on, but they blended beautifully. Highly recommend!

After dinner, Cindy opened up a box of frozen, chocolate-covered bananas/strawberries/mangos for dessert. We enjoyed those over another two hours of conversation, old Christmas card photos, and the funniest letters to Santa written by a much younger Natalie and Mark.


Thanks for another fabulous dinner, Cindy! We already discussed next month’s entree and it’s going to be off the hook (pun intended because it’s FISH!)

Before heading home to Mountain View, I made three stops:

  1. Mom’s house to pick up a few cocktail dresses and say hello. I’m incredibly excited for this weekend’s holiday soiree at my friend Kimberly’s house in Fresno… I just need to pick a dress. According to her Instagram sneak peeks, it’s going to be dazzling!
  2. Gym. Did 4 miles instead of the 6 scheduled, but it was late!
  3. Grocery store to pick up more Nutrigrain bars. I keep my desk at work stocked with them and have been out for dayzzzzz.

And that’s it!

Question: Have you ever had yorkshire pudding before? What about figgy pudding? What is that song about anyways?


Comments (11)

  1. Emily @ Emily Eats and Runs

    I’ve never tried yorkshire pudding, but I’ve always wanted to!
    Emily @ Emily Eats and Runs recently posted..Breakfast repeatMy Profile

    1. Sugar Coated Sisters (Post author)

      you should definitely try it! these were like light, airy, slightly cheesy misshaped croissants :)

  2. Megan @ runningonjava

    I’ll have to try the stew recipe – mostly because I’m from Chicago, ha ha :) It seriously is the worst when you’re out of your favorite snacks!
    Megan @ runningonjava recently posted..Marathon day eatsMy Profile

    1. Sugar Coated Sisters (Post author)

      yes! even the pineapple (which i normally detest) couldn’t keep me away from this. very very good!

  3. Grace @ Practicing Grace

    Hi!! Nominated you for the Leibster Ward on my blog!
    Grace @ Practicing Grace recently posted..Liebster InterrogationMy Profile

    1. Sugar Coated Sisters (Post author)

      Thanks Grace!! We will be sure to check it out :)

  4. Lot-O-Choc

    looks like you had delicious food! loving the look of the beef stew!
    Lot-O-Choc recently posted..Ferrero Wine & Chocolate Tasting EveningMy Profile

  5. Eating 4 Balance

    The name of that stew is perfect. Neverending. Haha.

    Nutrigrain bars were one of my favorite snacks when I was younger. Blueberry and Strawberry were the best.

    1. Sugar Coated Sisters (Post author)

      my fave is apple cinnamon, but they were out of the BIG boxes of those! one of my elementary school friends ALWAYS had one in her lunch box… eating one makes me feel young lol

  6. Julie

    Those chocolate covered strawberries and bananas look delicious!
    Julie recently posted..WIAW: How to fit into skinny pantsMy Profile

  7. Grace

    This is the perfect time for that beef stew. I’m going to the store so I can start preparing for this. I’m so excited to give it a shot. Thanks for sharing.


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