For Everyone Stuck in the Snow :: Stay-in-Bed Stew and Biscuits Recipes

becca-garber-stay-in-bed-stew-biscuits I love all the snowy pictures in my Instagram feed this week, especially after a giant snowstorm hit the East Coast yesterday! So many bundled up children, so many snowmen, frosted trees, covered driveways, well-loved shovels, and ready-to-go sleds. I am almost jealous. ;)

I’ve been meaning to share these two recipes because they’re just too good to keep to myself. Elliott’s mom made this stew throughout his childhood, and we’d barely been married a month before I was learning the recipe myself. It’s the ultimate comfort food in our house on a cold day!

Also, as a mom and a minimalist cook, I love that the soup is a one-pot, throw-it-all-in-and-forget-about-it dish, and the biscuits are easy and fun to make with my kiddos. I have a picture to prove the biscuit-making part:

becca-garber-making-biscuits They both come running and line up like this as soon as I say the word “biscuits.” May you have as many happy memories with stay-in-bed stew and biscuits as we’ve had already!


Stay-in-Bed Stew


  • 2 lbs stew beef
  • 2 cups peas (frozen or canned is fine)
  • 2 cups sliced carrots
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 2-3 large potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tsp salt (I often use beef bouillon instead)
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 large can (not the traditional size) tomato soup
  • 1/2 soup can filled with red wine (you can also use white wine or clear fruit juice works well too)
  • 1-2 bay leaves


  • Mix all ingredients in dutch oven.  Add water or beef broth to desired consistency. Cover.  Bake at 275-300 degrees in oven for around 5 hours or until meat is tender.
  • OR mix all the ingredients in a large pot. Cover. Simmer on the stove for 3-4 hours.

Serves 6-8, and there are usually leftovers!


Homemade Whole Wheat Biscuits


  • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
  •  1.5 cups white flour
  • 6 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1-2 tbsp sugar (optional)
  • 3/4 cup shortening (I use butter)
  • 1 cup milk (I substitute Silk soymilk for the lactose intolerant, and it works perfectly)


  • Blend dry ingredients.
  • Cut in shortening/butter, preferably lightly and with a pastry cutter.
  • Add milk and mix till doughy and just blended.
  • Roll out with a little flour and cut out biscuits. You can use a water glass, but I love these biscuit cutters.
  • Bake on a greased baking sheet at 350F/180C for 10-15 min or until lightly browned and firm on top.

    Makes 12-13 biscuits

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13 Responses to For Everyone Stuck in the Snow :: Stay-in-Bed Stew and Biscuits Recipes

  1. Meg February 17, 2015 at 7:27 pm #

    What lovely pictures of some of our favorite foods! You’ve become a champ at them, Becca. I have been making that stew since before I was married. In my first teaching job we had to visit the homes of all of our students. I was served stay-in-bed stew at one of them and immediately got the recipe. I have never stopped making it, as you know. The biscuit recipe came from The Lawrence Journal World newspaper back in the late 70s (without the whole wheat option). They have also never failed me. So fun to see them “published” to the wider world.

    • Becca February 21, 2015 at 11:04 pm #

      I remembered parts of the story of how you found these recipes, but it’s fascinating to have the whole story written down. I am so grateful you seized these recipes when they came your way and made them into such a delicious part of your family’s story.

  2. Johanna February 17, 2015 at 7:33 pm #

    This post brought back such happy memories of living on the Hill and eating this stew and these biscuits with you all. What happy evenings those were–I miss them!

    Sending you a snowy hug!

    • Becca February 21, 2015 at 11:03 pm #

      Yes! I forgot that we shared this particular meal on Capitol Hill. Maybe those days will come again… ? ;)

  3. Desiree February 18, 2015 at 5:03 am #

    This is definitely going into the meal planning rotation :) Thank you!

    • Becca February 21, 2015 at 11:02 pm #

      My pleasure! Glad to think of so many friends making this meal now. :)

  4. Nicole February 18, 2015 at 9:02 am #

    I ended up getting sick these past 3 days, so this is perfect for a day like today when I’m on the mend. Looks so yummy and so cool to have this soup to pass along through the family. When I’m cooking I tend to wonder what meals my sons will grow love and crave as they leave the “nest” and hope the women they choose to marry will cook similar meals! I know they’re still babes, but these are the thoughts I often have. :)

    • Becca February 21, 2015 at 11:02 pm #

      Such sweet thoughts. It is so rewarding to see Elliott gobble up a meal (especially when, like Lew, he’s a rather trim guy!), and this one never fails to get rave reviews, and the leftovers never last long. Very rewarding for the cook!

  5. Lucy February 18, 2015 at 3:22 pm #

    I’m so glad to have this recipe. I nearly made beef stew the other night, but Eric and Charlotte couldn’t come to dinner due to the snow, so Dad and I settled for something not nearly as tasty! I do have the ingredients, and these days are so cold, that I bought some more stew meat at the store today. Can’t wait to try it!

    • Becca February 21, 2015 at 11:00 pm #

      I’m interested to see if you tweak or add to it at all! I think it could have more depth and flavor, but I just haven’t tried that yet. In many ways it’s like a beef bourguignon, and I’ve always wanted to try that dish and then tweak this stew accordingly… one day!

  6. Becca Arthur February 20, 2015 at 12:42 pm #

    Yay! I have been meaning to ask you for this recipe all winter! Thanks for sharing. :)

    • Becca February 21, 2015 at 10:58 pm #

      Of course! We’ve shared this meal together so many times with good friends like you all. :)

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