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Did you know that, statistically speaking, the colder a month is – the more babies are born nine months later? This means your odds of getting laid are already better this time of the year, so why not stack the odds even more in your favour and give them a warm meaty experience?
This is the kind of winter food you cook when you want to make them think, “Oh, this is a good thing. Maybe we could share another warm carnal experience tonight.” Don’t give me that look. Beef stew is a classic, it’s hot, hearty, and homey. It makes us feel warm and happy inside, which in turn reminds us t’is the season to impregnate, or be impregnated, and prepare to bear fruit in the summer months when nature is teeming with new life.
This stew is very simple and gets devoured when I make it. So much so that I recently had to buy a bigger pot covered in a pattern stolen from one of Laurence Lewellyn Bowen’s suits.
This recipe is all about fresh ingredients and cooking simply with a little bit of cheating for time. There are no precise measurements here – you just need onions, potatoes, carrots, garlic, beef, oil, bouillon/stock cubes, salt, pepper, and paprika. Plus a pot to cook the stew in.
Onions first. I use about five, but you do you. Chop them and pan-cook them in (olive) oil on medium heat until they are soft and golden brown. If you get onion juice in your eyes, your knife needs to be sharper. So sharpen it you gods’ damned savage.
Potatoes. While the onions are cooking, take some taters, peel them and chop them up into chunky pieces. How big? Well, how big do you like them? Potatoes are much like breasts. A J-cup is fun, but it’s not like you can get it all in your mouth. An A-cup is fine, but maybe not big enough to bite. I’d say B to D is probably what you want to aim for with the chopping. Unless you really like your potato and have gotten to know it. I mean, personality means a lot for… Never mind, I think this metaphor is getting confused. Just chop your potatoes to the size you like.
Carrots next. I like to buy baby carrots and cut them – and the prep time -in half. Huzzah! You now have time to do more things in the bedroom. With your carrot. Metaphorically.
And now, to the beef. I buy two packs of lean stew beef and the pieces are often a bit too big for me, so I cut them in half. Then I sprinkle a mix of black pepper, salt, red pepper and paprika in a bowl and rub it into the meat by hand. The seasoned meat goes into a pan with some olive oil on medium-high heat. Toss until everything is seared (= cooked/fried until all sides are brown). It does not need to cook all the way through – the time in the oven will take care of that.
Time for the garlic. If you’re burned by being horribly white, you may not understand flavor so let me help you out. You take a bulb of garlic and use all of it. The end. Break it into sections and smash each one with the flat of your blade. This helps release the flavor and the skin comes off super easy. Done? Then dice them.
Finally, here’s the real time-saver. Making a proper broth from scratch is beautiful, but time-consuming. So, we cheat. I use a brand called Better than Bouillon and put more than half the bottle in a saucepan with hot water and stir it up. If you don’t have bouillon, you can use fond or stock cubes instead.
Now, we put everything together into the pot. Pour the bouillon mix over the meat and veg and add water almost to the top. Then stick the pot in the oven at 250F or 120-160C depending on the type you have. Give the stew about six hours to get all stewy and serve with bread or rice. If you want to impress, cut up some parsley for garnish and put the salt and black pepper by the pot so they can season to taste.
Enjoy your meal. Then go get laid.
ABOUT LETO ARMITAGE
Leto Armitage was born in America under a set of circumstances that prophesied that he would one day unite the lost tribes and return the Ever Summer. Somewhere around twelve, he realized he had been left unsupervised and binged too many Arthurian movies in his formative years and that he was just another kid who accidentally got an education while reading above his age level.
By the time he turned old enough to get a passport, he started finding excuses to travel determined to find out what culture, food and women there were to experience. After learning to grill in Oaxaca, do kinbaku in Japan, and being banned from several former Soviet block countries, he returned home to settle down and see what damage he could do locally.
After working jobs including being a short order cook, bodyguarding strippers and professionally doing reader’s advisory for erotica he realized the most reasonable path forward was to become a writer. Today he lives with cats, dogs, and humans who seem to like him despite actually knowing him. He prefers to sit on his back deck, listening to the birds and Barry the Bumblebear bee, while he writes cozy, uplit romance and raunchy erotica.