Author Topic: A Hardman Stew.  (Read 868 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline McClean

  • The token American
  • Big Kahuna
  • *
  • Posts: 6272
  • Ain't I pretty? ;)
    • View Profile
A Hardman Stew.
« on: March 02, 2008, 02:01:33 PM »
This is a split off from a post in the old cooking thread.

Originally posted by Hardman on June 30, 2007. Rather than trying to edit, I just copied the whole thing.




 :)

Southern style version of good ol' Irish stew I guess, but with more meat/fish variety. :-)

Not that a good stew should ever be overlooked, I made one a week or so ago, great in winter and its a form of food I like during the week - one-pot cooking :-)

Jamie and I were talking a week or so ago about the difference between a crock-pot and a slow cooker - it seems to be in Australia at the moment that the crock pot has disappeared, all you can get are slow cookers.

I have a slow cooker but my crock-pot's ceramic insert was busted by the kids years ago. Jamie found a site where I can buy what looks to be a crock-pot, must order one.

There is, especially when making a stew, a distinct difference, slow cookers cook much faster than crock-pots. I only use the slow cooker to make stock, if I were to do as I used to with the crock-pot and put a stew on in the morning for serving at night it would have a burned top in a slow cooker.

I suppose there is a recipe somewhere that places hard and fast rules on making a stew, but that almost seems a travesty, the whole point is whatever you have around.

The last one I made consisted of three large potatoes washed and cubed, a turnip, a parsnip and a couple of carrots treated the same and one stalk of celery sliced thin, two onions coarsely chopped and some cloves of crushed garlic, think I used three, with some sliced mushrooms.

All those veg were tossed in foaming butter until they had taken up most of the tablespoon or so of butter, then transferred to a dutch oven.

For meat I had a couple of not particularly good steaks around, so I cubed them, discarding most of the fat to the stock pot and in the same pan used for the veg browned them well with some extra butter after tossing them in plain flour before putting them in with the veg.

Some generous seasoning of salt and pepper, add some herbs if you like, I do, a recent addition to Australian shelves, bush spices,  a great mixture, goes well, otherwise whatever herbs and spices you like, paprika or curry powder for those that like some warmth is good, chives,  thyme, basil, a bay leaf, all good.

Cover the veg and meat with stock. I make my own as noted, but it doesn't really matter, dissolve some cubes in boiling water or use a pre-pack if you don't have any real stuff.

Bring to the boil then reduce to a very slow simmer, cover and let it go whilst you get on with the day.

It can cook for hours but is ready after about three, extra time will mean the meat is more tender. That's the real beauty of the crock-pot, it will cook for eight hours and still not have everything falling to pieces or burned.

A quick taste and texture test of the gravy - often the starch from the veg is enough to have thickened it nicely, if not mix up some gravy power with cold water, stir it through and bring the heat up to a boil so it thickens.

If the colour is a little pale then a judicious splash of parisian essence soon fixes that and you are ready to serve, in deep bowls with fresh bread, its more spoon and fork than knife and fork food. ;-)

My mother makes a great and very simple stew topping that is worthwhile.

Sift one cup of flour and a teaspoon of salt into a bowl, make a well in the centre. Beat two egg yolks with one cup of milk, pour it in, add two tablespoons of melted butter and mix until smooth. Beat the egg whites until stiff, fold into the mixture.

In the last hour or so of cooking add this to the top of the stew and you end up with a delicious light topping that is much tastier than soggy dumplings :-)

Not an Irish stew by any means, traditionally that is just potatoes, onions and lamb neck chops with some seasoning and water, but we don't have to be THAT frugal :-)

I'm told this stew freezes and reheats beautifully, wouldn't know, there's never any left. The quantities above fed four adults and a child very satisfactorily.

Enjoy. :-)

Cheers

Where everything out here ain't what it seems
When I'm down to nothing, I just go ahead and dream
And face the fact that I'm a circle in a world full of squares