Sunday Party-Worthy Beef and Butternut Stew/Chili + Rosemary Apple Galette

Sunday was Cook for Lots of Folks Day, which is fun as long as it doesn’t happen every week.  In this case, it was lots of fun.  I started with a recipe I’ve loved for a few years and moved on to something new and adventurous (for me).

This is the old, familiar recipe:  Cooking Light’s Beef and Butternut Chili.  Only I think it’s more of a stew than a chili.  Call it what you will, it’s delicious and complex and rich while remaining healthy.  That’s a pretty amazing combo.

photo by Ditte Isegar (via myrecipes.com)

I usually make it with venison, but we didn’t have 4.5 pounds of venison in the freezer right now (that’s the meat requirement if you triple the recipe).  We used beef as called for, and it was just as delicious as the venison version.  (Yes, I’ve posted this before as a good recipe for venison.  It deserves another shout-out.  It really does.)

Okay, so familiar out of the way.  On to the adventurous!

The adventure came in the form of my first homemade pie crust and the new-to-me combo of rosemary and apple in a dessert.  A friend posted this recipe on Facebook (she added cranberries to hers, which seems like a great idea), and I’m sure glad she did!

I’ve been scared to make homemade pie crust for the past few years, but the rustic look of this tart convinced me to try it out.  I can do rustic.  Also, we have lots and lots of rosemary in our front garden.  It turns out that apples and rosemary are a good combo no matter which part of the meal they belong to.

This is not my food, but it looks a lot like mine did:

photo from galleryhip.com

photo from galleryhip.com

Ours went straight from oven to car to stomachs without any time for pictures.  It was a good journey.

Before the tart made it out of the oven, I realized that the crust wasn’t browning the way I wanted it to.  Fortunately, I was armed with helpful information from my Food Network addiction.  It turns out that if you brush milk on the crust and push it back into the oven, it browns up perfectly, even with only five minutes to bake.

You should bake up a pie today so you can try it out.  Call it a learning experience, not random, unnecessary pie.  There’s no such thing as unnecessary pie.

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