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Minnesota Winter Beef Stew

Minnesota Winter Beef Stew recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

Wind Chill.

The two words frozen on the cheeks of every Minnesotan during the long winter months.  Nobody is bothered that it’s 15 below zero in January.  It’s the wind chill factor – what it feels like when the wind slaps and stings you on the face – that counts.

frozen lake in minnesota - time for a hot beef stew

The term wind chill says everything, and conciseness is of utmost importance when your lips are numbed cold:

“Late for work again, Bob?”

“Wind Chill.”

“It’s 2pm? Never mind, Susan told me the sad news about your dog. What happened?”

“Wind Chill.”

“I guess when they gotta go, they gotta go. You still up for poker tonight?”

“Wind Chill.”

“Is that a yes or no? Wait, why are your lips purple? Geez, are you missing a finger?”

“Wind Chill.”

enjoying homemade beef stew while watching early sunset on frozen minnesota lake

Wind chill has endless connotations, and in a culture of simple conversations where the undermeaning means everything, it is an overused, but vital phrase.

But wind chill is under threat.

No, I’m not referring to Global Warming – which every Minnesotan prays hard for every time they have to scrape ice off their windshield.  I’m talking about an organization every Minnesotan respects; an organization that blares the tornado warning sirens five seconds after one wipes out your house.  I’m talking about the National Weather Service.

Minnesota Winter Beef Stew recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

In the guise of simplicity, to the consternation of Minnesotans freezing far and wide, the National Weather Service recently announced they were replacing the Wind Chill Warning with an Extreme Cold Warning.

If the temperature falls below -35F, it is now extremely cold.  -30F, I guess that’s just cold.

snowman in rural minnesota on freezing January day before heading home for hot beef stew

We can’t survive without wind chill.  Just a mention of the phrase, and we shiver, hide our faces, call our loved ones.  Warning of extreme cold wouldn’t even remind us to wear a hat outside.

And without wind chill, we wouldn’t know how to begin a conversation in the elevator.  The silence almost as awkward as trying to start with, “Gosh, it’s extremely cold out there.”

We will not stand for this.  We will not stand at the bus stop with our faces turned from the frigid wind any longer.  The National Weather Service may try to warn us of Extreme Cold, but their warnings will fall on frostbitten ears.  We Minnesotans will forever take it upon ourselves to obsessively discuss, ruminate, debate, and caution each other of what we love to hate more than anything else – Wind Chill.

Minnesota Winter Beef Stew recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

Minnesota Winter Beef Stew recipe by Season with Spice
Serves 3-4

What you’ll need:
1 lb of chuck beef cubes
6 carrots
5 stalks of celery
1 large white onion
3 cloves garlic - minced
1/4 tsp Season with Spice's bay leaf powder
2 of Season With Spice's Sri Lanka whole cloves
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp of freshly ground black pepper

3 cups of water
10 baby potatoes
3 tbsp flour

1. Place beef cubes on frying pan and cook on low until browned. Transfer beef and juice to a large pot (or slow cooker).
2. Cut carrots, celery, and onions into chunks. Add to pot (or slow cooker), along with garlic, bay leaf powder, cloves, salt, black pepper, and 3 cups of water.
3. Cover, and simmer on low fire for 3-4 hours.
4. Add baby potatoes to the pot. Simmer for one more hour, or until potatoes are softened.
5. Scoop out a bit of the broth into a small bowl. Mix in 3 tablespoons of flour. Then pour the mix back into the pot and stir well. Remove cover and cook on medium fire for another 20 minutes to slightly thicken the broth.  Add in more salt and pepper if needed.
6. Serve hot by itself, or with a side of bread. A simple beef stew recipe with an amazing flavor - guaranteed to warm you during the coldest of Minnesota winter days.


Rosa May said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
wok with ray said...

This hot and hearty stew is a perfect dish for those freezing days to warm those red-frozen cheeks. Beautiful thick snow on that beautiful part of the country. Don't you miss that weather, Mark? :)

seasonwithspice said...

Thanks Ray. I do miss the winter in December, but am very happy to be in Penang come January and February! The pictures here are actually a few years back during a 'White Christmas' in Minnesota. If you can believe it, there isn't a speck of white in most of Minnesota right now. Just a brown and gray Christmas, which seems to be the norm lately.

seasonwithspice said...

Thanks Rosa, always loved this dish coming in for dinner from the cold and dark of a typical Minnesota winter day.

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Hi Mark (and Reese)! I hope you two are enjoying your stay in Minnesota now. I just can't imagine the weather difference in two countries and this stew will make you nice and warm. I love the stew like this - big chunky ingredients.... now that I'm in warmer country, I kind of miss having that warm dish...

Tanvi @ The Hathi Cooks said...

Just beautiful!

seasonwithspice said...

Thanks Nami, I'm sure some nights get cold enough in SF for you to cook this one up. Hope you enjoy it!

seasonwithspice said...

Thanks Tanvi

heather said...

Very appealing soup aside (recipe marked), which Minnesota lake is featured in those photos? I completed my graduate schooling at UMN - Twin Cities and fell in love with the Chain of Lakes... even during that week it was -40 *without* the windchill!



seasonwithspice said...

Hi Heather, I shiver to think what it would be with the wind chill. The place for me in January is right here in Penang!

Yeah, the chain of lakes in Minneapolis really makes the city special. I miss biking around that area in the summer. The frozen lake pictured here is part of a small chain of lakes near St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Emily @LivingLongfellow said...

I'm a Minnesotan and know all about that windchill. Not gonna lie, I've been missing it lately :) That stew looks familiar b/c we make it with almost the exact same recipe, roughly 1x a month. It's great!

heather said...

Nice! Never made it to St. Cloud, but would love to explore more in northern MN.

seasonwithspice said...

Missing wind chill? You are a true Minnesotan, Emily. I'm sure you will get your wish soon enough:)

Peppercorns in my Pocket said...

what a gorgeous stew! there's no better way to deal with the cold outside than to have a stew on the table, and this one looks perfect.

leaf (the indolent cook) said...

I feel warm and comforted just looking at this. This is the kind of meal you want to come home to!

seasonwithspice said...

Thanks Pia! It always warmed me up when I was a kid coming in from the cold.

seasonwithspice said...

Thanks leaf! Reese is "part Hokkien, part Teochew" too, and loves it. Enjoy!

Season with Spice said...

Update to my writeup:

I guess the National Weather Service may have received too many complaints from stubborn Minnesotans since as of today, they have scrapped the "Extreme Cold" warning system and reverted back to "Wind Chill" warnings...

Norweigan said...

I have to admit, being a Minnesota that moved out of state (for my husband), I pinned this recipe just for the simple fact that it was called a "Minnesota Winter Beef Stew". The discussion on wind chill just brings me back. Miss it so much. That all being said, this recipe looks amazing and I'm so excited to make it! Looks like something my aunties would make :)

Norweigan said...

I have to admit, being a Minnesota that moved out of state (for my
husband), I pinned this recipe just for the simple fact that it was
called a "Minnesota Winter Beef Stew". The discussion on wind chill just
brings me back. Miss it so much. And I agree, I think most Minnesotans would take "extreme cold" as a challenge rather than a warning...

That all being said, this recipe looks
amazing and I'm so excited to make it! Looks like something my aunties
would make :)

Season with Spice said...

You are definitely Minnesotan if you miss wind chill:) Hopefully, we'll have some really cold days this winter to enjoy this beef stew even more.

Katie said...

Yumm...this looks like soup my grandmother used to make when I was little. I'll have to try it next week.

Mary Louise Griffin said...

hubby is from st paul and worked for hostess ; [ ....he got up 1 morning and all 6 of his cars would not start except his model a...he said enough, moving south to nc....he loves soup and stews...can eat them every day....that and pasta...going to try this one...

Season with Spice said...

That's a great story, Mary. I think everyone in Minnesota has that one, fateful, winter day where they wake up and make the ultimate decision - do I head south, or do I put on another layer and accept a lifetime of wind chill?

Happy to hear he took his love of Minnesota stews with him. Hope you both enjoy the recipe!



SeasonWithSpice said...

i found this recipe and its currently cooking. im wondering if i did something wrong? I used 3 cups of water, but that doesnt seem nearly enough, and i had the soup at a low flame.

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