Regina Santos’ Beef Stew for the Winter Holidays
By Yuuki Yamagiwa
Regina Santos is a professional peak performance coach and corrective exercise specialist whose comprehensive practice is based on the principles and work found in the traditional Pilates system. She is the creator of the lifestyle concept, Running in Heels®, she co-authored the recipe book, Running in Heels: Quick and Smart Snacks and Entrees. We are happy to be presenting one of Regina’s favorite recipes this holiday season! Read on for her easy and delicious Beef Stew recipe and to learn about how she applies Pilates to her cooking practice!
What motivates you to cook?
Cooking makes me happy. I am happy when I cook! Cooking is also my way of connecting to people.
I love cooking because I love the idea of creating something that can provide nourishment and love to people. I like that one can be very creative with the simplest of ingredients, that one can create a divine dish with just some very basic principles. Almost like one can feel divine after an awesome and nourishing Pilates session!
How do Pilates and cooking complement one another?
Speaking of Pilates, I can’t help but think about the principle of flow (of movement) when it comes to cooking. It’s like finding the flow of movement in the order of the (classical, traditional) Pilates system. When you get to know the timing of things, how certain foods cook and at what certain times, and knowing what comes first, what comes next and why, etc., then you can flow in the process of the creation of something nourishing as well, and the end product is something that makes you feel good!
That’s great to see that Pilates can be so relevant to everyday tasks like cooking! With the holidays coming closer, can you share with us what is usually on your menu during the winter season?
Yes, at least for me, Pilates and cooking are both wonderful outlets for creativity. And why not practice Pilates while cooking? I mean, think about when we reach overhead to grab something from the spice cupboard, aren’t we training to do that when we are in the studio doing something like Short Box Reaching? It is all connected (pun intended!)! What makes me feel good at this time of year are soups and stews. I can enjoy soup every day when it’s cooler outside. I hope you find it easy to make and simply delicious! It’s a current favorite of mine.
BEEF STEW (SERVES 4 – 6)
2 lbs of cubed beef
¼ cup of flour (wheat flour can be replaced with arrowroot or rice flour)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp cumin
macadamia nut oil (or your oil of choice whose smoking point is around 400 degrees)
1 small onion chopped
2 medium carrots sliced into ½’ thick pieces
2 tbsp bourbon
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
6 cups vegetable stock
dried thyme and oregano
¼ cup sundried tomatoes
1 ½ lb. roasted delicata (or any thick-skinned squash)
Set oven to 275 degrees.
Mix salt, pepper, cumin and flour in a large bowl. Dust the cubed beef in the flour mixture.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large Dutch oven pot over medium-high heat and add beef, turning once per side until all sides are brown, about 5-7 minutes total. Until it’s time to turn, leave the beef alone to cook, only move when turning sides. When done, remove from the pan and set aside.
In the same Dutch oven pot (with the caramelized goodness from cooking the beef), add 1 tbsp oil til hot then add onions, garlic and shallots (in order) to cook until brown. Add carrots and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add the bourbon, a splash of water, worcestershire and soy sauce to stir everything together and dilute the caramelized goodness.
Finally, add vegetable stock, herbs and sun dried tomatoes, cover and move pot into the oven. Bake for 2 hours. Remove from oven and remove any rough herb sprigs before serving.