The family recipe: "Theo's stew is really comfort food"

Some recipes are years old and may taste so good because of nostalgia. NU.nl asks ordinary people about special recipes from their family. This week Anneliese Vonk (60) tells about the stew of her now deceased husband Theo.


Some recipes are years old and may taste so good because of nostalgia. NU.nl asks ordinary people about special recipes from their family. This week Anneliese Vonk (60) tells about the stew of her now deceased husband Theo.

Vonk had been married to a cook for 35 years, so she never had to cook. He said she couldn't do that at all. They ran a total of three restaurants, in which Theo was the chef and Anneliese was the hostess.

"We had our own pigs, a vegetable garden and a greenhouse. I used to make things from it, such as jam, but Theo stood behind the pots and pans."

In 2011, bile cancer was diagnosed at Theo and they decided to close the doors of their restaurant. He didn't get over the disease. "After his death, the family came to bring me food, because they knew that I could not cook. My sister gave me a stew and said there was still rice to be added. Then I thought: I cannot make that at all. I felt then so stupid. "

'Comfort food' for a large group

One of the first recipes that Vonk made himself was Theo's stew. Everyone was always crazy about that, she says. "I did it with his notes and with what I remembered how he did it. I had a picture of him in my kitchen and when I didn't know how to proceed anymore, I looked at him."

The stew is really comforting for Vonk. Not only because it is spicy food, but also because you make it immediately for a large group of people because of the large amount of meat. "Together with them I sit down at the table and share my troubles, then I just taste the gratitude."

Ingredients (for eight people)

  • 2 kilos of beef stew
  • 2 onions
  • 4 dl full red wine
  • 4 dl bovine boullion
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 10 juniper berries
  • Pepper and salt
  • 1 tsp ketoembar, djahé and djintan (cumin)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 can of tomato puree

Preparation method

  • Let the meat come to room temperature and cut the meat into large dice. Sprinkle with pepper, salt, ketoembar, djahé and djintan.
  • Preheat the oven to 150 degrees.
  • Brown the meat well in a frying pan with olive oil, after which you place it in a frying pan.
  • Bake the onions in the remaining fat until light brown. Stir in the can of tomato puree and let it bake for a moment to deacidify. This is allowed with the meat.
  • Now pour the wine and the stock into the pan and stir the last leftovers from the bottom. Then pour this over the meat so that it is completely covered.
  • Finally, add the bay leaf and juniper berries.
  • Cover the casserole with baking paper and place the pan in the middle of the oven. Stir every half hour and check that the moisture does not evaporate too quickly and that the temperature does not exceed 160 degrees.
  • The meat is tender and tender after about two hours.
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    REF: https://www.nu.nl/eten-en-drinken/5789937/het-familierecept-theos-stoofpotje-is-echt-troosteten.html