A delicious seasonal stew. Friends it is time to put your apron and cook! My father loved stew, and my mother liked to make it for him. I too love stew, and find it such a comfort dish for the change of seasons. As the stew simmers and its savory smell fills the air, I set my table with a rich autumn colored tablecloth, tall candles, and deep plates. The candle light casts a spell of homey beauty, a table fit for conversation, good food and friendship.
Here's my recipe for Dad's stew, modified.
The secret - the deliciousness of this stew, is the lamb. It gives the rich meat flavor, evoking the umm, umm, yumm, spoon scraping experience.
- 1 lb of beef stewing meat
- 1 lb of lamb cut up (stew meat if available, otherwise I cut up lamb chops)
- 1 large onion
- Butter to fry the onion (about a quarter cup)
- 3 medium potatoes
- 6 small carrots (if they are quite fresh I don't peel them)
- 1 medium turnip
- 1/2 cup flour
- Salt and pepper
1. In a low dish put flour, salt and pepper, then roll the cubed meat in it (if you run out of flour, add more).
2. In a large frying pan, cut your large onion and fry in butter, on low heat.
3. Add meat to pan, turning so that all parts become sealed. I add more butter if it is too dry. You don't want the meat to stick to the pan; the butter and flour on the meat are creating a nice gravy. Put aside when meat is done (you can put the meat in a large pot to wait for the veggies, as it gets ready).
4. Vegetables - I like to parboil my potatoes - I have a real aversion to hard potatoes. I cut my potatoes rather small (not in cubes - a quarter potato or less depending on the size) this is mostly my own prejudice as I don't like the potatoes to dominate the stew - I like the meat, carrots and turnip to be the main experience. I parboil the carrots and turnip as well, together in the same pot as the potatoes. The turnip should be peeled and cut into smallish pieces, a little smaller than the potato. I let them cook for about 5-7 minutes, before adding to the stew.
5. In the big pot, I add the stew meat and all the vegetables.
6. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of water, not too much - this is not a watery stew, it is thick and rich and meaty. Use the water that you boiled the vegetables in, it is more flavorful.
7. Put the lid on the pot and let the stew simmer for a few hours, stirring occasionally. Add a little water if it is too dry, or flour if it is too watery (keep some of the boiled vegetable water in a measuring cup that you can mix your flour in that before adding to the stew).
8. When the delicious smells begin to waft, slice your loaf of crusty bread, decant your red wine or pour a glass of apple cider to accompany the meal.
Some like it hot, Some like it cold, Some like it in the pot Nine days old!
Be Beautiful, Feel Beautiful, Live Beautiful