(And on the side: Seven Things about Us!)

Any apron-clad mom worth her salt can cook up a big savory pot of beef with gravy, right? I have to admit that sometimes my beef stews are a little thin and occasionally my pot pies are a little runny… I add the flour, I dredge the meat, I mix in the puree, and I know to reduce… Still, sometimes success, sometimes not so much…

As part of the organized chaos which is my recipe shelf I have a filing system. (Heaven help the fool who tries to mess with my mess…) I do this because over the course of a year I will not remember which recipes are awesome and which ones need tweaking, and come next winter (or this winter) I can happily go to the “file” for help with my menu.

The system is not very sophisticated. There is a section (OK, pile…) for each season. A recipe with a Check Plus is a hands-down winner, a recipe with a Check is a totally edible keeper, and for recipes below that there is no designation because I throw those out! (At the bottom of the pile are those recipes I have yet to try, but that is a can of worms for another day…)

My point is that this recipe is a Check Plus from last winter, so even though I don’t recall making it, I can jump in and make it again, confident (OK, hoping) it will turn out just as delicious as it did last time. It cooks in the oven which is a method that I love, and the gravy is indeed apparently foolproof because it turned out thick and mushroomy for the second time in a row. Double Check Plus!

And speaking of the Double Check Plus, Rachel over at The Avid Appetite was kind enough to tag us in her Stylish Blogger Award and ask us to share seven things about ourselves…how nice of her! You just never know when a little encouragement will make all the difference to someone, and this timely word of encouragement is much appreciated!!!

So here goes:

1. UrMom is addicted to “white on white” wedding cake… Seriously addicted.
2. UrMom cannot sit through an entire movie. Sitting still is too hard.
3. UrMom has never lived in the same house for more than five years. Hoping Austin sticks!
4. College Girl loves Ireland, er, loves a boy in Ireland. We are preparing for transatlantic travel.
5. College Girl and her roommates make vanilla and chocolate cake balls once a week. They now love food blogs.
6. Working Girl has officially lost her wedding-obsessed mind. Case in point: last week she purchased four pom-pom makers. All spare time has become craft time.
7. Working Girl is known for two things in her office (besides her genius consulting skills): water consumption and a chocolate addiction.

Thanks so much Rachel for thinking of us! We never imagined starting a blog would be so much fun and would help us get to know so many awesome fellow bloggers (although we did hope it would!) Now that you know us a little better, let’s get back to considering some beefy goodness…

Gather Up:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
4 cups diced onion
3 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
3 pounds lean beef chuck, trimmed and cut in 2 inch pieces
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 pounds cremini mushrooms cut in large pieces
1 cup organic beef stock
1 pound chanterelle mushrooms cut in large pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat oil and butter in a large heavy Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until the onions are soft and beginning to brown.

Stir in tomato paste, paprika and thyme.

Season beef with salt and plenty of pepper. Add the beef and cremini mushrooms to the pot and stir to combine. Add the stock and cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid.

Transfer the pot to the oven and bake until the beef is very tender, 1 ½ to 2 hours.

Stir in chanterelle mushrooms and continue baking 15 more minutes. Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes. Serve.

From: EatingWell.com