My Mom’s Weekend and A Half Bone Broth Stew

January 5, 2017
My Mom's Weekend & A Half Bone Broth Stew - Slow cook your way to health & happiness with a stew filled with bone broth, herbs & veggies

“And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, 

‘This is important!  And this is important!  And this is important!

Harry – December 2016  (He loves, loves, loves playing with toys)

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You need to worry about this! And this! And this!’ 

And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, ‘No, this is what’s important'”     ~ Iain Thomas

— — —

A few months ago I sat in my son’s living room, holding baby Sam.  He offered me a cup of tea along with a stick of honey (it’s local and organic, Mom), and a bite of a new snack he’d made with goji berries

“Oh, Sweetie, I couldn’t,” I say, still digesting the big salad I’d eaten for lunch. “I’m so full.”

“You make room for things you love,”  He said as he handed me the tea

— — —

Admittedly, toward the end of 2016, I was full and ready for a break.

From the time we’re little, we’re taught that life is a buffet, the world is our oyster, and we can wear as many hats as we’d like.  And most certainly we can, in a land filled with so many opportunities and cool things to occupy our time.  But every now-and-again we wake up and realize that we’re tired, our jeans no longer fit, the lettuce is wilty, and we’re very

tired of our hair

As we start 2017, I’m still full, but with a far better perspective.

There are still puppies to train, a marriage to nurture, classes to finish, a full-time career, grandchildren to visit, workouts to do, and friendships to forge.  There still are a million questions to field within our own four walls.  What’s for dinner?  Did you write the check?  Why are we all awake at 4 am?  Will you pick up dog bones while you’re out?  When are you traveling again?  Will you pass the salt?  How ‘ya ‘doing Grandma?

I’m full, in a good way, of course.  You make room for the things you love

My Mom's Weekend & A Half Bone Broth Stew - Slow cook your way to health & happiness with a stew filled with bone broth, herbs & veggies


“OK Loves,” I say as I reach for the square of goji berry goodness.  “I’ll take just a bite.”

It tasted incredible

The hot tea was perfect, just what I needed on the cold and blustery November afternoon

— — —

“Most people overestimate what they can get done in a day or even a year, and vastly underestimate what they can achieve in a lifetime”     ~ Tony Robbins

I’m remembering this

I’m remembering that efforts I’ve committed to are still worth pursuing.  That everything is a series of small steps and tiny bites. That a little bit goes an awfully long way.  That space is a perception (that life is as well)

I’m learning that, when everything is overwhelming, when the days feel full when even the thought of cooking dinner seems nearly impossible, there is still room to be made; there is space

For a pinch of salt, a cup of tea, a bite of a favorite snack

For something that truly matters

Or more precisely, for the someone(s) I love

My Mom's Weekend & A Half Bone Broth Stew - Slow cook your way to health & happiness with a stew filled with bone broth, herbs & veggies

As I mentioned in Part I – a month or so ago we went to my parents for dinner

My mom served a rich, brothy vegetable beef soup ladled from a cast-iron pot on the stovetop.  Big hunks of stew meat simmered in bone broth and stewed tomatoes, veggies, and side of piping hot buttery garlic bread for dipping.  I could have drunk the broth straight from the bowl, as though it were hot tea.  I thought at the time it was the best thing I’d ever eaten, in fact ..

I still do

My parents live only ten minutes from us.  It’s always fun for me to see what they’ve been up to in the kitchen (and out).  Every year their garden is beautiful, my dad brews homemade beer and wine, they make fermented foods like sauerkraut, and are always sending us home with treasures they’ve canned

The thing I’ve learned about someone who doesn’t cook with recipes is, it’s best to ask how they made something fairly soon afterward.  Which I did thinking, “I’ll remember”  And of course, by the time I got serious about making it, we were both scratching our heads

“How’d that go again?”

Bone Broth

One day last week, when I wanted to make room for something slow and quiet, sans sautéing and other jumpy methods,  something that would make the kitchen warm and sweet-smelling for a few days, I started a batch.

A riff on my mom’s sounded like just the thing.  A simple, hearty, and straightforward stew made from the season’s last tomatoes, homemade beef and turkey bone broths, fresh herbs and veggies

Besides using the most wholesome of ingredients, what’s her secret to making this incredible stew?  Cooking it for three days(!), I kid you not.  Every night she takes the pot off of the burner and puts it outside on the porch  (it’s winter here in Iowa)

“For the longest time when I made soup, we were always commenting about much better is was the next day.  So I started incorporating that into my cooking.  It’s kind of like when you make cookies.  There’s something magical that happens if you’ve let the dough rest for 72 hours in the fridge”     ~ My Mom

Aside from a minimal bit of labor, this stew is pretty straightforward.  With a stir every now and then, it mainly cooks itself.  It makes for easy eating on a cold winters night.  With a hunk of bread and some cheese alongside, it’s one of the best meals you’ll ever have

Photo Credit – Pinterest – Witch Hazel

A few additional notes about the recipe:

My mom browns her meat along with the onion, celery, and spices.  I’ve always used Ina Garten’s method of starting a beef stew and included it here.  You can’t go wrong either way.

There aren’t any hard and fast rules when it comes to spices, and those listed in the recipe are simply jumping-off points.  Any combination would be great: oregano, thyme, rosemary, basil, parsley.  Simply taste as you go and adjust as necessary

She doesn’t add Worcestershire, but it’s a flavor I’ve always loved in beef stews

I found that I needed to add more broth each day, especially if I’d forgotten to cover the pot completely and some of the liquid had evaporated.  No worries, it’s hard to go wrong



ps:  You can read more about bone broth in Part I  |  Part III  |  Part IV  of the series

My Mom's Weekend and A Half Bone Broth Stew


  • 2 - 2 ½ lbs stew meat (or the equivalent beef chuck roast, cubed)
  • olive oil for searing the meat
  • fine grain sea salt + freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 2-3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 quart beef bone broth
  • 1 quart turkey bone broth
  • 1 quart stewed tomatoes, or the equivalent canned
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 5-6 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire
  • 3-4 carrots, diced
  • 1 - 1 ½ lbs potatoes, diced
  • 1-2 cups frozen peas


  • Day 1
  • Sear the Meat
  • Set a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat and add a decent size glug of olive oil.
  • When hot enough that a drop of water sizzles off the surface, work in batches to sear the meat
  • Add a single layer of beef cubes to the pan, being careful not to crowd, and sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper
  • Let the beef cubes cook undisturbed for 4-5 minutes, or until the undersides have developed a dark brown crust and come away easily from the pan
  • Toss and continue searing on all sides ~ another 4-5 minutes
  • Transfer the seared meat to a clean bowl and continue searing the remaining meat in batches, adding another small glug or two of oil between batches if the pan starts to look dry
  • Note: a sticky dark glaze (fond) will start to form on the bottom of your pan. It will contribute to the deep, caramelized flavor in your stew. While you're searing the meat, if it starts to smell smoky, or is starting to burn, dissolve it with a splash of water, beef broth, or wine and pour it over the searing beef.

  • Cook the Onion and Celery
  • Once all the meat has been seared and transferred out of the pan, cook the onion and celery.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and warm another small glug of oil.
  • Add the onions and celery, and cook until the onions have softened and are translucent ~ 8-10 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook until fragrant ~ 30 seconds.

  • De-Glaze the Pan
  • Raise the heat back up to medium-high and add ¼ - ½ cup of either the turkey or beef broth (it should immediately start bubbling and steaming)
  • Scrape the sticky fond from the bottom of the pan (the broth will help it to dissolve)
  • Continue scraping and stirring until the broth has reduced and thickened slightly

  • Return Meat to the Pan, Add the Broth and Simmer
  • Return the seared meat to the pan, add the thyme and rosemary sprigs, the bay leaf, the rest of the broth, and the tomatoes. Stir to combine
  • Bring the broth to a very slow simmer, reduce the heat to low.
  • Cover the pot and simmer for the rest of the day, stirring occasionally. (Make sure the stew stays at the lowest simmer)
  • When you're ready to go to bed at night, turn the burner off and set your pot outside (assuming it's cold)

  • Day Two
  • Bring the broth to a very slow simmer, reduce the heat to low.
  • Check the liquid level and add additional broth and/or stewed tomatoes if needed
  • Test for seasonings and adjust accordingly
  • Cover the pot and simmer for the rest of the day, stirring occasionally. (Make sure the stew stays at the lowest simmer)
  • When you're ready to go to bed at night, turn the burner off and set your pot outside (assuming it's cold)

  • Day Three
  • Bring the broth to a very slow simmer, reduce the heat to low.
  • Add the potatoes, peas, carrots, and remaining Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Check the liquid level and add additional broth and/or stewed tomatoes if needed
  • Test for seasonings and adjust accordingly
  • Cover the pot and simmer for the rest of the day, stirring occasionally. (Make sure the stew stays at the lowest simmer)
  • Remove the herb sprigs and bay leaf before serving
  • Serve

Serves: 8
Nutrition + Show
Calories 430
Total Fat 20g
Saturated Fat 7.3g
Carbohydrates 21.5g
Fiber 4.5g
Sugars 8.2g
Protein 40g
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  • Reply hal bloss January 5, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    This is the perfect recipe for the new year – cannot wait to try it!

  • Reply Bobbi January 6, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    5 stars
    This looks amazing, and your pup is totes adorbs!!

  • Reply Marlynn January 6, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Mmm homemade broth is so delicious and so perfect for our absolutely freezing temperatures here right now (rare for us)! Your dog is ADORABLE!

  • Reply Carly Delski January 7, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    Oh this would be so good right now! We’re having a snow day here in NC and stew would warm me right up!! This looks delicious! I’ll have to try making it tonight 🙂

  • Reply Poonam February 16, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    This looks delicious. I’ve actually never had bone broth but have heard its really good.

  • Reply Anmaria February 16, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    I am really drooling now. This looks so good and I just love love beef bone broth. I have been crazy about bone broth lately and make sure every soup we make is from bone broth. This is one recipe I will bookmark in. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  • Reply Carly Markham May 2, 2017 at 6:15 am

    This looks soooo good! I wish my family were good at cooking! I have had to self teach and I am not particularly great as much as I try! I would love to make something that looks as good as this.

  • Reply Jess May 2, 2017 at 6:37 am

    There really is so,etching much better about food when you’ve left it a day or two, although I’m a veggie so if I left a veggie version of this to stew it would probably be more like baby food by the time I’d go to it, haha!

  • Reply Keely May 2, 2017 at 7:05 am

    I love making Japanese style broths, with mushrooms, spring onions and tofu. There’s something very comforting about them.

  • Reply Stephanie Merry May 2, 2017 at 8:36 am

    Now this looks incredibly tasty! I haven’t had a stew in ages, might have to make one this weekend x

  • Reply Lisa prince May 2, 2017 at 11:51 am

    omg wow yummy i love broth and adding dumplings would be my add to it x

  • Reply Sarah Bailey May 2, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Life really is a series of small steps and little bites and remembering that makes things easier to get through, especially when they are overwhelming. This stew is so beautiful and colorful and really sounds delicious. It would be perfect on a chilly day x

  • Reply Lottie May 2, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    That recipe looks incredible and super tasty! (plus, your dog is adorable! training puppies is hard work)

  • Reply Ana De- Jesus May 2, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    He is so right, we do make time or room for the things we love even if we can’t see the end goal in sight. This stew looks lovely and hearty x

  • Reply Melanie May 2, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    We all need a break once in while. I could do with one now. Love the stew with all the rich colours this is just the sort of thing my parents enjoy I must pass on the recipe to them.

  • Reply Leah Lander-Shafik May 2, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    4 stars
    That Bone Broth Stew looks so yummy! I absolutely love your doggy too…my boy Rupert would approve (choccy lab) x

  • Reply Anosa May 2, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    Ohh this is so delicious. I am sure my mom will love this too. Will definitely try this.

  • Reply Rhian Westbury May 3, 2017 at 3:16 am

    It’s so nice that you live so close to your parents, I hope that I always can to, it must be nice just popping around for dinner x

  • Reply Dannii May 3, 2017 at 5:01 am

    This looks like a big bowl of comforting food. Maybe something for winter though.
    That dog is so cute.

  • Reply Melanie May 3, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Erm yes please, lovely family comfort food, looks scrummy 🙂 x

  • Reply Joanna May 3, 2017 at 10:39 am

    We should make time for the things we love, you are so right. Even if life seems to keep us in a constant rush, with many “important” things to see, we should say stop from time to time. Take a deep breath and do something we love!

  • Reply Jemma May 3, 2017 at 11:59 am

    This looks absolutely delicious, great for those chilly days 🙂

  • Reply Laura May 3, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    I will totally make this stew when the colder weather comes around! It looks so tasty! xxx

  • Reply Charity May 5, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    This looks so good! It reminds me of a soup my mom used to make when I was young.

  • Reply Maro May 10, 2017 at 7:01 am

    The broth sounds delicious and comforting, sort of like my nan used to make when I was small.

  • Reply Rhian Westbury December 21, 2017 at 10:21 am

    Such a lovely post and I agree that you do make room for the things you love, it’s such a lovely thought x

  • Reply Laurence December 21, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    This is perfect for cold season. especially now! I’m craving for one ? make me missed my Mom broth.

  • Reply Jennifer L December 22, 2017 at 1:55 am

    5 stars
    Absolutely loved the reflection on being full with all the blessing life has given us. It really is important. I’m so intrigued about the bone broth since ive never tied making a broth out of it. But sounds like something I’d love to try for myself before committing.

    • Reply Jennifer L December 22, 2017 at 2:16 am

      *committing to whether bone broth is for me or not

  • Reply Aditya December 22, 2017 at 3:15 am

    5 stars
    We have to make time for the things we love at least once in a while or month. But the food you have been made, it is seriously good for winter. Wish I could have that as sometimes I lie in Fast AC in office.

  • Reply Kacie December 22, 2017 at 8:12 am

    5 stars
    Mothers cooking is always the best and this stew looks so hearty and warming!

  • Reply Eugenia December 23, 2017 at 3:10 am

    Love how you narrate a story in every your post, so interesting and profound! I’d love to try this brothy vegetable beef soup that cooked your mom! Looks so appetizing! 🙂 Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  • Reply Kavita December 24, 2017 at 1:40 am

    First, i want to say I love your blog very very much and these mouthwatering recipes are unmatchable. Again delicious recipe and very much perfect to soothe the freezing temperatures here right now. Thank you o much for sharing it with us. Happy holidays to you and your family! Love X

  • Reply Renata Green December 24, 2017 at 2:09 am

    5 stars
    This is just wonderful: Your beautiful, pensative text, the beautiful heartwarming pictures (yes, I am talking mainly about the dog) and then the fantastic recipe – a perfect post, especially at this time of the year.

  • Reply Sheri December 24, 2017 at 4:00 am

    It is so important to make room for people and things we love. I find since I made more time for the things that are important, every thing else falls into place.

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