I have never been one who enjoys large gatherings so I think our new pandemic lifestyle has hit me less hard than others. However, I do think it’s important to still create special dining experiences even when we are at home. Nothing brings a family or friends together more than a cozy dinner in a beautiful dining setting.
This week, I hosted my family for an intimate fall family dinner in my kitchen. I kept the tablescape simple but elegant with candlelight and my Nicholas Mosse dishware. The dinner was made even more special as I served Sherried Beef. Sherried Beef is something my family terms a “company recipe”, a special treat that we usually only break out when we are hosting guests. However, given the pandemic, I thought it appropriate to prepare this meal to show my family that they are just as special to me. The best part about this “company recipe” though, is that it takes about 10 minutes to prepare! I’ve included the recipe below.
These Nicholas Mosse dishes and napkins hold a special place in my heart. They were one of my first big purchases in my twenties. Even then, I’d dreamed of owning a house in the country. When I saw them on a trip to Ireland, I knew they’d be just perfect for that dream house. They have looked a bit out of place as I’ve moved from Chicago to Philadelphia and New York, but are now just as perfect as I’d imagined in my country house.
The candle centerpiece, I found on a trip to Woodstock, Vermont (just featured in our 5 Best Small Towns to Visit in the Fall). The company that makes it, Farmhouse Pottery, is a small family owned business, where all products are handcrafted. I’ve collected many of their creations and every purchase feels like a celebration of the long lost art of farming and craftsmanship, a belief they hold dear. Both were the perfect additions to my country themed fall family dinner.
This is seriously one of the easiest “fancy recipes” you can make, whether for a fall family dinner or a more elegant fall dinner party. It has only five ingredients, none of which require prep work. The only trick is that you need to start early. It takes 3 hours to cook. Serve either with rice or noodles.
3lbs stewing beef (I used sirloin steak and cut 1.5 inch cubes but you can use any cut)
2 cans Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup
1 cup (6-8 oz) sliced mushrooms
1 cup dry Sherry
1 package dry onion soup mix (I used Liptons)
Combine all ingredients in a really large covered oven safe baking pot. I used the Le Creuset 5.5 quart round Dutch Oven. The ingredients cook down in size but take up much space to start.
Once all ingredients are in the pot, give it a good stir. Cover with the lid and bake at 325 degrees for three hours.
And that’s it! A simple meal that can make your family dinner feel special. I hope that you and your family are able to create magical moments with some of your fall family dinners this season. It has become so important to make the effort to provide bright spots in these challenging times.