Stews are really important for mothers. From the East to the West, mothers make stews: chicken, lamb, beef, veggies, tofu and egg stews. There are just a few but there are so many of them!

While the kids were growing up, they eat stews everyday, because the older three were national representatives in their sports. They trained about 11 times a week, and because the place they trained was 45 minutes’ drive from home, and because I wanted them to eat within 30 minutes of exercise, and because I only wanted home cooked food for them,  I’d boil the ingredients in that thermal pot and put the pot with many tupperware into the car. The stew will continue to cook in the thermal pot, together with a layer of rice.

I’d scoop them into bentos just before they finish their training, feed the younger boys first, and then the older ones will eat their dinners in the car. Always stews, all sorts of stews. By the time we reach home, dinner’s done, and I only had to clean up. For many, many years while they were growing up.

Those were the days Little One was my knapsack, and I suffered years of back pain for carrying babies. But do I miss them! Those were also the days I enjoyed watching my kids do their sports and they would bring home trophies and medals. There were so many sweat and tears behind each training, but nothing a stew cannot sooth.

Vary the base with tomato, wine, white, clear soup, vary the vegetables, from roots to leaves to fruits, vary the herbs, vary the spices, vary the meats. There are literally thousands of combinations. I must have done hundreds of them in different ways.

Today, I made a simple red wine beef stew. Cooked in 30 minutes. And I always cook this stew this way, the most orthodox of my stews. 🙂12799420_10209206094059560_2867412985186523434_n 12294690_10209206093819554_1520892581172144744_n

Red Wine Beef Stew

Red Wine Beef Stew



1 kg of beef cut into 2cmx2cm (I use the cheapest about 30% fat meat)

1/2 cup of oil for frying


2 Tbsp Soya sauce

1/2 teaspoon Black Cracked pepper

Your choice of herbs (I used oregano and basil today)

2 Tbsp plain flour

Sauce or Base

1 cup red wine (I used Shiraz today, never use cooking wine, use read drinking wine)

1 cup good stock (I used beef cubes + water)


2 big yellow onions, chucks

3 medium potatoes, 2cm x 2cm cubes

5 small carrots, 2cm length


  1. Season the beef with everything except the flour, for 15 to 30 minutes. Then add the flour.
  2. Heat up the oil in a pressure cooker, and fry the beef in batches. Remove from the pot.
  3. Fry the vegetables in batches, and remove.
  4. Return all the vegetables and beef into the pressure cooker (or use a casserole if you do not have a pressure cooker) and add the sauce or base.
  5. Pressure cook for 15 minutes or cook in the oven at 150C for 2 hours. If using thermal pot, boil and then cover. Cooks in 2-3 hours.