Tomato Beef Stew (番茄燉牛肉)


Boy, I seriously underestimated how difficult it would be to get back into the rhythm of posting here after a change in routine! So much has changed in the past months - i'm finding my equilibrium in a new job and new city, and Summer has come and gone.

I am not known to love change - in true Taurean fashion, stability is important to me. When an opportunity came up that I would have taken in a heartbeat if not for the caveat of it entailing a move to a new city a 4 hour drive away, I found myself oscillating between 'I-can't-possibly-do-this'  and 'there's-never-a-better-time-than-now!'.  It was a nerve wracking couple of weeks where I would swear I had made a decision and then completely change my mind the next.  In the end, I would say what pushed me to take the leap was Jeff's consistent response to my indecision, that if it's something you want, you need to take it and the rest will follow.

It has been a steep learning curve in more ways than one, but I have to say that he was right. Change and transition are a necessary part of life, and the fear, doubt, discomfort and sacrifice that is often wrapped up in it gives rise to growth and so much learning. New York City and my little family there are not going anywhere, and I get to experience living in a new city that has surprised me with its charm and beauty. That this opportunity was something I wanted for myself is reason enough to have taken the plunge.

As it turns out, one of the things we have had to learn is that cooking for one is not the easiest thing to do. This recipe is a result of experimenting to made food that is not too fussy  and not only keeps well, but tastes better the next day. This stew literally requires only four main ingredients, and is hearty, warming, but not too heavy - apt for the transitional period we are going through between seasons. Juicy tomatoes reduce to a velvety  consistency when cooked over low heat, potato and onion add substance and sweetness, and the short ribs round out the dish with just the right amount of richness. We made this together on one of my recent weekend trips back to the city, and I realized that hey... one great, tangible outcome of this transition is the inception of new recipes like this stew!  So here's to counting our blessings, especially the delicious ones :)