Newsletter for October 22 (Irish Beef Stew)

It’s the last week of the CSA and I’m happy that we still have so many items to offer. Besides everything I mentioned in the e-mail I sent out on Monday morning, we will also have parsnips and potatoes! This week would be a good one to make a potato, kale, and sausage soup, or stew with potatoes, parsnips, and carrots. You could also roast the beets, carrots, and potatoes together (just peel, cut into similar sizes, toss with olive oil and seasonings, and cook at 400 degrees on a baking pan). Since we’re going to have little grape tomatoes this week, it also would be a fun week to make kabobs with peppers, grape tomatoes, and onions. Yum!

It’s another all-option week. Small shares get 7 options, single shares 5 ½, and large shares 10. Everyone will also get a coupon for money off VT apples (1/2 peck bag for $2.99)


4 lbs. white potatoes

1.2 lbs. parsnips

1 pint grape tomatoes

1.5 lbs. bell peppers

1.2 lbs. carrots

1.2 lbs. beets

1 large bunch kale

2 carnival squash

1 pie pumpkin (also can be used for decoration)

Possibly: turnips chard, roma tomatoes, zucchini, brussels sprouts


The bread this week is Red Hen’s Ciabatta, back by popular demand!

 Signing up for next year

All 2013 CSA members who wish to join again in 2014 will be able to. As I did last week, I will have envelopes out for you to self-address if you’d like the sign-up info for 2014 in the mail next March. If you filled out an envelope last week, or if you don’t plan to join again or would like to just receive the info via e-mail (I will e-mail everyone in March), no need to fill out an envelope. Thanks again for saving me countless hours of work this winter!


If you have any missed-share vouchers, be sure to use them before the stands close on October 31! Remember, you are more than welcome to use your voucher for any produce item on the stand. You can also use it to buy pumpkins, decorative gourds, or even corn stalks. The vouchers can be used at either stand. Essex is open from 8 to 6:30 every day. Right now Colchester is just open from 12 to 6 Thursday through Sunday.

If you have any left over PYO vouchers and don’t want to pick raspberries in the next week or so (believe it or not, we still have some to pick!), just bring them in to me this week and I will give you extra produce with your regular share.


Have any thoughts about how we can improve the CSA next year? I’d love to hear them! Please e-mail me – we appreciate your feedback!

Irish Beef Stew

You could substitute some parsnips for half of the potatoes in this recipe if you’d like. You could also skip some of the beef stock and add some dark ale. . .

(Recipe from Bon Appetit, March 2001)

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds stew beef, cut      into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 large garlic cloves,      minced
  • 8 cups beef stock or canned      beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire      sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick)      butter
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes,      peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 7 cups)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups 1/2-inch pieces      peeled carrots
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh      parsley


Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and sauté until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add beef stock, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, melt butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add potatoes, onion and carrots. Sauté vegetables until golden, about 20 minutes. Add vegetables to beef stew. Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender, about 40 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Tilt pan and spoon off fat. (Can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving.) Transfer stew to serving bowl. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

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