Cookbook Review and Giveaway: Home Made Winter

Update: Congratulations to Amanda of Something Savory on winning the giveaway!  Please contact me with your information so I can send the book.

There are a lot of great cookbooks coming out this fall.  And I mean a lot.  Like, so many that Eater had to split up their fall cookbook preview into two parts due to post size restrictions.  As an avid cookbook devourer, blogger, and all around food dork, this is pretty exciting to me.  Even more exciting?  The fact that I have a stack of these cookbooks on my bedside table to review – and a few to giveaway to you.  I hope you don’t mind a bit of a cookbook and recipe frenzy here for the next few weeks!

First up is Home Made Winter, released as a follow-up to Yvette Van Boven’s wildly popular cookbook, Home Made.  Full of warming Irish, French, and Dutch recipes, this book has arrived just in time for what seems like it may be a long, cold winter – at least here in New England.  It’s a whimsical, playful tribute to the sorts of hearty, made-with-love foods that get those of us that live in colder, darker, Northern climes through the winter.  This playful spirit is set as early as possible – on the copyright page, which is covered with doodles and a “welcome cocktail” to draw you into the book.  Throughout the book various recipes are drawn out and illustrated rather than typed and photographed, which I think is cute – and a good way to remember to not take cooking too seriously.

Recipe-wise, I like this book.  There is a pretty broad range of time commitments, levels of difficulty, healthiness, and flavors represented here.  Some examples: homemade apple cider made in your food processor (time consuming), quinoa apple cake (healthy), rarebits with pear and blue cheese (easy, bad for you).  But even the time-consuming recipes are un-fussy, which appeals to me – home cooking never needs to be pretentious (even if sometimes it’s fun to be a little pretentious about it).  I’m also a fan of the comforting Irish classics Yvette included – dishes I’ve read about but never had the opportunity to try, like steak and kidney pie, bannock bread with devonshire cream, and colcannon.  Yvette’s French and Dutch roots are represented too (tartiflette, gevulde speculaas), but the Irish recipes stuck out to me the most.

Design-wise, I both like and dislike this book.  The thing I love about it is the fun – the sketches, notes, paper cut-outs, and overall friendliness of the design.  What I’m not so crazy about is the photographic style, which is not really my speed.  The photographs are a bit too, well, wintry and realistic for me – many are shot indoors with that characteristic yellow overhead light glow, some are fuzzy and blurred, others are of dark, gray, wintry landscapes – no pristine snowscapes here.  On the one hand, it’s appropriate – it truly brings to life the feeling of winter, being stuck inside, wishing it wasn’t so grey for so long, and finding comfort around the warm light of the kitchen table.  I’m sure this was deliberate, and it’s done well.  But I find that whole aesthetic kind of depressing – I typically want opening a cookbook to be an escape to somewhere beautiful and inspiring and filled with light, not a reminder of where I already am.  Now, this is not a comment on the skill of the photographer (who is also Yvette’s husband) – there are many photographs in the book that are beautifully shot and lit – it’s just a stylistic choice that doesn’t draw me in.

The first recipe I tested from this book was the Daube Provençale – a French beef stew simmered long and slow in red wine, citrus, and olives.  I served it over super-creamy garlic mashed potatoes, and it was as scrumptious as it sounds.  The beef was fall-apart tender and packed with flavor, and the wine-y notes and salty olives made it stand out from other traditional beef stew recipes.  It was also easy (although it takes some planning ahead), so I’ll for sure be making it again!

The bottom line:  Home Made Winter is a fun, accessible cookbook packed with comforting, cold-weather recipes.  The recipes are a mix of traditional and innovative – I think there’s probably a little something for everyone in here.

Giveaway:  Thanks to the folks over at Abrams Books, I’m giving away one copy of Home Made Winter.  To enter, leave a comment below, answering the question: What is your very favorite winter weather recipe?  For one additional entry, you can subscribe to Katie at the Kitchen Door via email or RSS, and leave a separate comment letting me know you have (you can also do this if you’re already a subscriber).  One winner will be picked at random on Wednesday, October 24th.  Be sure to include your email in the comment form so I can get in touch with you!  If the winner doesn’t respond to me within 48 hours, they forfeit their winnings and I will pick a second winner.  US only, apologies to my international readers! Giveaway is now closed!

A final note – lucky for us, (spoiler alert!), we haven’t seen the last of Yvette – she tells us in the introduction to Winter that Home Made Summer will be released sometime in the not too distant future.  In the meantime, enjoy this delicious French beef stew, enter the giveaway, and look out for two more recipes from the book to be posted here over the next week!

Like what you just read? Subscribe to Katie at the Kitchen Door on Feedly or Bloglovin‘, or follow along on FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram, or . Thanks for reading!

Disclaimer: A review copy of Home Made Winter was provided to me free of charge by Abrams Books.  I was not compensated for writing this review, and all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own!

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Daube Provençale (French Beef Stew with Red Wine)

Recipe from Home Made Winter, by Yvette van Boven.  Serves 8.

A note on the orange/grapefruit: Several people have been disappointed in the orange flavor that leaving the rind in the stew gives – if you are concerned, consider omitting it. I found that, when using a grapefruit, leaving the entire grapefruit in the stew gave it a slightly bitter aftertaste (a reader using grapefruit as well found the same thing). Although not mentioned in Yvette’s original recipe, I’d recommend separately adding the zest of the grapefruit and the fruit of the grapefruit to the stew, avoiding the bitter pith. 

  • 3 lb stew beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle Cote du Rhone [I used Bordeaux and it was fine, but Yvette recommends Cote du Rhone, Vacqueyras, Gigondas, or Minervois]
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 orange, washed well and cut into 8 wedges [I substituted grapefruit]
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into rings
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • olive oil
  • 1 6-oz can tomato paste
  • 3 1/2 oz. pitted black olives
  1. Season meat with salt and pepper on all sides.  Place meat in a big bowl with wine, thyme, bay leaves, carrots, orange, onion, and garlic.  Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 12 hours, and preferably 24 hours.
  2. Heat some olive oil over medium heat in a large stockpot.  Remove the meat from the marinade and brown the pieces in the oil on all sides.  Pour the marinade (including the oranges, bay leaves, etc.) over the meat and bring to a boil.  Boil for 5 minutes, skimming any foam from the surface.  Lower the heat to a simmer, stir in the tomato paste, and add 4 1/2 c. water.  Cover, and let stew on low heat for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. 15 minutes before the stew is ready, add the pitted olives.  Let cook for 15 minutes on medium heat without the lid to thicken the stew.
  4. Serve over mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Serves 6-8.

  • 6 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • salt
  • 8 cloves garlic, cut in quarters
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream
  1. Place cubed potatoes in a large saucepan.  Cover with cold water, salt liberally, and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Boil for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, skimming starch foam from top occasionally and checking to keep from boiling over – lower heat if necessary.  Drain potatoes and place in a blender.
  2. Return saucepan to heat, lower heat to low, and add garlic and heavy cream.  Heat until garlic is fragrant and cream begins to simmer, then add to blender.  Blend until potatoes are a totally smooth puree.  Add water or skim milk as necessary to even out texture.

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  1. I think we could use that book – it’s still fall and already my mother’s come home and declared “WE’RE HAVING CHICKEN SOUP!!” because she was freezing.
    This is dumb and barely a recipe, but my favorite thing in winter is hot chocolate with fluff in it.

  2. Oh my goodness, what a lovely book. I want to make the pear desert on the cover! My favorite winter recipe is chicken and dumpling soup. My favorite snack and my quintessential winter-y moment is a fresh baked muffin with a cup of orange spice tea. Oh my!!

  3. Potato gnocchi with gorgonzola dolce and hazelnut sauce. I learned to make this at a Sur la Table cooking class and it was perfectly creamy, nutty and delicious for cold weather.

  4. Bread! Even though it’s more time consuming in my cold New England kitchen, I always want to make bread when the weather gets colder.

  5. I discovered a raw rutabaga and celery root slaw last year in Ottolenghi’s first cookbook. With dill and dried cherries, it was a dish of winter produce that was anything but ordinary.

  6. Hmm, well a daube like this would be high up on my list (love the use of oranges!). Probably spaghetti with homemade ragu sauce. Polenta is always nice too.

  7. My favorite winter recipe is definitely a melange of roasted root vegetables–or mashed potato–or mashed sweet potato–or a big stew–or maybe beef stroganoff. Ok, pretty much all winter food is my favorite. I could definitely use a serving of that beautiful mash with butter! :) Thanks for the giveaway opportunity–this book sounds great!

  8. My favorite winter recipe is “Guascha Locro” is a dish from South America. Is like a stew of pumpkin, corn, chorizo (spanish but mexican will do it too), green onions and salt,pepper or some bouillon base.
    Mashed the pumpkin and 70% of the corn so it has creamy yet rustic texture and serve with the green part of the green onions and some cheese.
    I like to put some cayenne on it for a kick :)
    Great giveaway!!

  9. I love all soups in winter, but my favorite winter dish is definitely black bean pumpkin soup. So hearty, spicy and nourishing :). Thanks for the giveaway offer!

  10. My absolute favorite dish in the winter is stew. Not just because of its simplicity, but for the way it fills you up.
    I also enjoy canning in the winter. It’s a bit backwards in terms of seasonality, but where I’m living now, persimmons are a late fall fruit that can be processed into jam quickly, and I love some toast with jam and a nice cup of cocoa. Thank you for sharing this giveaway with us!

  11. My favorite winter dish would have to be my Nanny’s chicken & dumplings. The recipe (which wasn’t even written down- my cousin and aunt had to watch her make it many times to figure out what her “recipe” was) practically made her famous among family and friends. My cousin can make it really good, but it doesn’t taste as good as when Nanny made it.

  12. My favorite winter weather dish would definitely have to be Lasagna. Growing up in an Italian household…pasta was definitely a sunday staple. And lasagna can have sooo many different fillings and sauces. It can be different every time you make itI love reading your posts every week. I subscribe via email. Thank you so much… Dawn

  13. Hello! My favorite food to cook in the winter are braises. I love smelling and watching big pots of beef, lamb, and chicken stew and get all delicious! Paulap08 @ yahoo dot com thank you!!!

  14. Pumpkin risotto and creamy polenta with blue cheese sauce and pears are two of my favorite winter meals. We need lots of cozy winter meals here in Alaska! :)

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  16. A nice pot of Beef Vegetable Soup and some fresh French Bread right out of the oven. Or even turkey and stuffing, it just makes the whole house smell so good!! Yum…

  17. My favorite winter weather dish is a bowl of roasted garlic vegetable lentil soup with homemade herbed focaccia bread.

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  19. Maybe this is a dumb question but I’m a total novice/practical virgin when it comes to cooking. After you marinade the meat and brown it, it says to add the marinade to the pot. Does that include athe stuff in the marinade too! Like, you don’t need to make a new/fresh marinade? Like, even the orange, bay leaves, etc goes in the pot?

    • Not a dumb question at all – yes, you do add the other flavoring ingredients in the marinade to the pot, like the orange and the bay leaves. It helps the stew gain extra flavor, but you do need to be careful that you don’t serve anyone a bay leaf or a huge piece of orange rind! I’ll update the directions to make this more clear, thanks for asking.

    • Hi Samantha,

      The original recipe calls for leaving the skin on the orange, and that’s what I did when I made it. However, I found that there was a slight bitterness to the stew from the orange pith, so I might try making it without the peel. Or, even better, peeling the orange and removing the pith (the white part), then including both the peel and the orange segments.

      Either way, let me know what you try and how it turns out!


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  21. I just made this tonight and wanted to comment while it was still fresh in my mind. GREAT stew! I did everything by the book and it was wonderful. I was nervous about the oranges, but the flavor is so subtle and goes so well with the beef – definitely use them. I served it with the mashed potatoes which soaked up the broth making them even more flavorful. This is now my go-to beef stew recipe – thank you!

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  23. Katie,

    I tried this recipe tonight, and I have to say I completely agree with you about removing the pith. I tried making it with a grapefruit, like you did, and the initial flavor was fabulous, but there was a horribly bitter aftertaste. It was awful and so disappointing. The aftertaste ended up overwhelming the wonderful flavor of the entire stew. I’m with you. I definitely want to make this again, but I think I’ll try possibly zesting an orange, then peeling it and including the orange segments.

    Thanks for recommending it! Even though it didn’t exactly work out this time, I’m confident the problem can be solved, and I’ll really get to enjoy it next time.

  24. Looks delish!!! Amazing photos! My favorite is pot roast in the slow cooker…the house smells sooo good it’s hard to wait for it to finish! And rolls to sop up any juices!

  25. I have my meat marinating right now but I have two questions. I left the orange peel in tact and like others have commented, I am nervous about it (wasting food to me is like gambling and losing money in Vegas…the thought of it makes me sick to my stomach!). This is so dumb to ask but surely you don’t serve the orange slices with the stew? You remove them, with the bay leaves, right? I mean, we don’t expect someone to eat the orange with a rind on it? And one other question is whether you think it might make a richer stew if used beef stock instead of water?

    • Hi Laura,

      You do leave the orange slices in the stew for the entire cooking process, but you’re right that you don’t serve them with the beef. Leaving them in allows them to continue to flavor the stew as it simmers. In my experience, most of the orange flesh disintegrates into the stew as it cooks, but removing the rinds (and bay leaves) before serving is a smart idea. Also, if it eases your concerns, no one so far has had a problem with bitterness when using orange, only with the grapefruit substitution – this is because the grapefruit pith is much more bitter than the orange! I also don’t think using beef stock is necessary – by cooking the beef for so long with the water, you’re basically creating your own beef stock. It’s very rich as it is.

      Hope this helps and please let me know how it turns out!


  26. Katie, this was wonderful! Orange slices didn’t cause any bitterness and you were right, beef stock was not necessary. I did make one change to the original recipe, however. I replaced the black olives with 8 ounces of sliced fresh mushrooms, putting them in at the same time that I added the water. They were delicious, but I’ll make it with olives next time to see how it compares. Oh, and I put in a ton more carrots than the recipe called for. Served with the garlic mashed potatoes, a caesar salad, some homemade artisan bread, and red wine. What a lovely meal on a cold November night! Thanks!

  27. I’m curious to know if this comes out sweet (I’m not familiar with the wine used). I prefer not-too-sweet stews, if you know what I mean.

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  33. Making this for dinner tonight. Everything has been marinating since late yesterday afternoon. Can’t wait! One question … Is it recommended to use regular black olives or would Kalamata olives work?

  34. This recipe was so delicious! The mash potato was so creamy and smooth, will always make it like this from now on. I also took your advice using just the zest and flesh and there was no bitterness, just wonderful citrus flavours. So good!

  35. Pingback: French Beef Stew in Red Wine « Something Savory

  36. I made this last night. I didn’t have time to marinate and cooked it for three hours. The olives seemed odd to me, so I left them out. My hubby asked me to make it again! Thank you for this recipe! A winner!

  37. Just wanted to say, I made this the other night and it was great. It definitely needed some more salt and pepper (outside of what was put directly on the meat). Since I used an orange I didn’t have any problems with bitterness, and I also omitted the olives. I may add some beef brother or something next time to cut the wine flavor just a little. Overall, great recipe! Thanks for sharing.

  38. I dont care for chunks of olives could I leave the olives out completely or could I just use a little bit of the olive juice for flavoring?

  39. Hello!
    I’m looking forward to making this recipe, but I’m just curious; do you use the entire bottle of wine for this recipe?
    It just seems like a lot to me, but if you use the entire bottle then I’ll use it all.
    Thanks for your time and for posting this recipe, I can’t wait to try it!

    • Yep, you use the entire bottle! This recipe does make a lot (8 servings / 3 lbs. of meat) so you could definitely make a half portion of the entire thing (and then you would have half a bottle left to drink…)

      Hope you enjoy it!

    • If you’re worried about the alcohol, it will all have cooked out because of the long cooking time. As for flavor, it does taste winey as it is one of the primary ingredients. It’s not an overpowering flavor, but it’s there.

    • Well, if you only cook it for 2 hours, 10% of the original alcohol will still remain- not much when you break it down per serving. After 2.5 hrs, 5%, and at 3 hrs, it should be just traces. However, this might vary based on temp and the strength of the wine. I’d be wary about serving it to someone on Anabuse medication, for example, but I have no problem with my kids eating something like this.


      alcohol added to boiling liquid & removed from heat 85%
      alcohol flamed 75%
      no heat, stored overnight 70%
      baked, 25 minutes, alcohol not stirred into mixture 45%
      baked/simmered, alcohol stirred into mixture:
      15 minutes
      30 minutes
      1 hour
      1.5 hours
      2 hours
      2.5 hours

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  43. made this for Valentines dinner for my husband. Followed the directions completely. I even bought the $15.00 bottle of wine that was recommended; used the oranges not the grapefruit and it was very delicious!

  44. Looks delish. Found it on pintrest. Adding it to my menu for the upcoming week when my dad is visiting. Super excited. Quick question. Is that 16oz of tomato paste or one 6oz can of tomato paste. The spacing in the font and the hypen is throwing me off. Thanks!

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  46. I made this last night with minor changes; no olives, no peel on the orange, 1/2 the amount of wine and equal parts a mix of beer and beef broth.

    YUM!!! My boyfriend loved every last bite, absolutely nothing left on his plate!

    I also added sautéed onions to my mashed potatoes :)

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  48. The mashed potatoes look so good with all that yummy gravy. I just wouldn’t put the olives in. I hate olives in food.

  49. Something I forgot. I don’t drink so what to use instead of the wine or if I buy wine how long can it stay in the fridge once opened? How do I subscribe to this blog!

    • Hi Judy! All the alcohol will cook off since it’s in the pot so long. You can keep the rest in the fridge for at least a few weeks for cooking – it won’t go bad, but it will taste more and more like vinegar, so it’s not really suitable for drinking after about 1 week, but is fine for cooking! And you can subscribe right up there in the left-hand corner of the site! Thanks for visiting :-)

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  51. I made this today and it was wonderful. I’m sure it would have been even better if I had followed the recipe exactly. I used a cheap bottle of merlot in order to stay within my grocery budget. I also was not brave enough to add the olives. I will try that next time though. Served it over the garlic mashed potatoes and had homemade rye bread on the side. It was the best dinner I’ve had in a while. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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  53. Living in a country with a hodge-podge of people from different countries and culture I have tasted different foods and one thing I don’t like id olives in my food. Olives I love to eat as is.
    What can one use instead of wine?
    Do your give aways include foreign countries?

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  55. Beautiful recipe, thanks for sharing! I just found it through Pinterest. Being French, I was looking for a beef stew that would remind me of my childhood. I’m definitely going to give this one a try! :)

  56. I want to make this for dinner the weekend and was wondering if I follow the entire recipe will it be enough for 6 people? Also how much is 3 pounds of beef? Approx. how many steaks if I were to measure it that way? And just to cofirm you peeled the orange and then put the pieces of the orange in the stew – correct? thanks.

    • Hi Lori,

      Yes, I think it should be enough to serve 6 people. Usually you can see the weight of the meat when you buy it in the store so you should be able to get or ask the butcher for exactly 3 pounds. I would use stew beef (sold in cubes), not steaks – using nice steaks would be a waste of money. You do not have to peel the orange first, you can put the whole orange in there (if you use grapefruit as a substitute, do peel the grapefruit first).


  57. Hi there,
    I made this for dinner tonight, and followed the recipe exactly, and was so disappointed by the overwhelming bitter orange flavor. None of us could get down a single bite, so down the drain it went, which left me feeling so sad. I included the orange rind in my broth and allowed it to marinade for 24 hours and then simmered it in the broth for 3 hours. Maybe this is what caused the orange flavor to overpower the rest of the stew. Such a shame–the texture of the beef looked so tender.

    • Nikoletta – I’m so sorry to hear that! If you read the comments here, you’ll see that some people really enjoyed the orange flavor, while others, like you, found it overwhelming. Thank you for leaving your feedback!


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  62. This was great! I used the zest of a lemon and added some celery. Next time I make it, I will try with orange zest. I think that just using the zest (with no pith) is the way to go here. I love that the broth is basically wine, yum!

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  65. I’ve made this several times now and it is wonderful! The only thing I change is leaving the garlic out of the mashed potatoes. My household is over garlic mashed these days.

  66. Instead of simmering on the stove for 2-3 hours, is it possible to put into a crockpot on either low or high heat for that time? Or a different amount of time? I would love to cook this recipe Sunday, but have some daily obligations before dinner time. Thanks!

    • Hi Danielle – I don’t cook with a crockpot so I couldn’t tell you exactly, but it seems like the sort of recipe that would adapt well. My guess is that it would need a longer amount of time. If you do try it, it would be great if you could leave a note here about what worked for you so others can find out!

  67. Planning on making this tomorrow! One question- the recipe says pitted black olives but the photos look like Kalamata or Greek olives. Which did you use? Thanks!

    • Hi Alexandra – Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner! I always use Kalamata olives as my “pitted black olives,” although I realize that might be confusing given that that phrase often refers to the canned version. Hope you enjoyed the recipe!

  68. making this for dinner tomorrow night, looks delicious! i have a crockpot, could i make the stew in that and have it cook on low for a longer period of time?

    • Hi Savannah, sorry I didn’t get back to you in time! I don’t have a crockpot myself, but I think this recipe would adapt well to one. If you tried it, please post the amount of time you ended up cooking for here for others to see!

    • I don’t do a lot of crockpot cooking so I can’t say for sure, but I imagine this would need more than 2-3 hours? You could definitely try it and just keep an eye on it… probably the longer it cooks, the more tender and flavorful it will be!

  69. I can’t believe this stew has 2 stars– it’s definitely a five star recipe! I haven’t had any problem with bitterness, but it hardly seems like a reason to rate so low anyway. The stew is perfect. I cooked it for about 5 hours total, finishing with a few hours in the oven, and served to unexpected company. It was a huge hit with them and with my toddlers, too.

    • Thanks for your comment Michal! I’m glad you enjoyed the stew. I sometimes wonder if the rating system I’m using gets spammed… I’m certainly open to criticism but I test and eat every recipe I share here, and I don’t share anything that turns out poorly. Anyways, appreciate your review :-)

  70. I’ve looked at a couple different recipes and noticed that the others don’t use as much tomato paste (170g here). Should I really add 170g of tomato paste or just a tablespoon or 2?

    • This makes a pretty big pot of stew with 3 pounds of beef and a full bottle of wine. But if you think it will be too tomato-heavy for your tastes, feel free to use half the amount called for… I don’t think using less will hurt the flavor.