Snow in Rome, frozen canals in Holland, and just a general-OMG it’s SO cold in Belgium feeling. . . winter seems to have a tight hold on us in Europe. How in the world can you cope with the coldness of winter? With beef. And beer. How about beef and beer, slow-cooked in the oven for hours? Yes. That’s the ticket. Eat it by the fireside for an extra special winter treat. In March. I’ve taken the traditional pot roast and stew recipes from the U.S. and combined them with my Belgian favorite – stoofvlees – to create this one.
The best part about wintertime is the food – just how the world around us has drawn hearthside, slowed down, and warms up with blankets and fuzzy socks – my favorite foods slowly cook in the oven for hours and warms my family’s insides with each bite. (My favorite recipes also make enough to freeze the leftovers, which is handy for those really lazy winter days when I just can’t be bothered to do more than defrost.) My kids lovingly titled this one White Wine Coq au Vinny, after their Dad. In Belgian and Holland, most grocery stores sell pre-sliced
One of the first things I noticed after moving overseas was that the winters in the Netherlands are long and cold. “We ain’t in Texas, anymore” The second was the energy I expended daily just living in Europe – the walks to and from the store (the library, school, the train station, etc.) are just as long and cold as the winters! My old days of a simple canned soup and grilled cheese sandwich for dinner were quickly unfulfilling. “I’m so famished, I’m about to faint!” I’d tell my husband after pushing a double stroller through the streets of Leiden.