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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Autumn Stew | You've Got Meal!

There are only a few dishes that, cooked during the cold seasons, can make me feel better about the crappy weather outside, and this stew is one of them. You can always come up with another combination of vegetables or other meats for this one, but I was pleased (and warmed) by the result.

So, grab yourself 2 medium onions, an obscene amount of garlic (don’t worry about the amount, when cooked in stews garlic gives a rather sweet taste instead of, well, garlic taste), 2 carrots, 200 grams of honey fungus (during this time of the year this mushroom is available in farmer’s markets), 200 grams of pumpkin (with or without skin), 300 grams of potatoes, 150-200 grams of quince, 150 grams of smoked bacon, some nigella seeds, fresh  oregano, sage and parsley, salt, pepper, 500 ml of dark beer (I used Guiness in this recipe).

Start of by heating up a good amount of olive oil in a heavy base, tall pan, then pop in the diced onion and garlic. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, then add in the sage, finely diced carrots and bacon -  cook them for another 3-4 minutes. Add the pumpkin, quince, both finely diced, and the honey fungus. Give everything a good mix, so that the hard vegetables get covered in the flavorful oil and bacon, cook for another  4-5 minutes. Pour in the beer, crank up the heat, add salt, crushed nigella seeds, pepper and 1 tbs. of chopped oregano leaves and reduce the liquid to about a third. Next, reduce the heat to medium low, put in the spuds, cover the pan and let it simmer for about 25-30 minutes. 

You can check to see if the vegetables are done during this time, this is especially useful if you decide to leave the skin on the pumpkin, which makes cooking the vegetable in case takes longer. Garnish the stew with some chopped parsley and, if you feel like it, pour a couple tbs. of heavy cream on top.

Serve this stew with some spicy pickled cauliflower for a more rustic feel and, if you really feel like the incoming winter is getting on your nerves, don’t forget about a nice cup of mulled wine. 


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