Sep 18, 2012

"Hearty Herdbeast Stew"

Fall is in the air and the wind coming down off the Rockies makes us crave comfort food.  I came across this stew recipe in The Dragonlover's Guide to Pern, any Anne McCaffrey fans out there?  The hubs is eating it up (and Romeo has had some and drools on himself when he smells it cooking.)  A double batch fits just right in my dutch oven.  I had about 2 and a half pounds of stew meat, so I used a handful of garlic cloves, a whole onion, 2 bay leaves, and added a few extra chopped veggies.  I also skipped the last three spices and it turned out fine.  You can easily make this vegetarian by substituting seitan or TVP chunks for the beef.  If you can, it's best to let it sit in the fridge for a day or so, to let the gravy thicken and the flavors develop.  The book also includes recipes for "Klah"- a cinnamony chocolate drink, "Benden Baklava", and "Bubbly Pies".  The following is quoted from page 74-75 of the book, written by Jody Lynn Nye with Anne McCaffrey.

Hearty Herdbeast Stew

For tastiest results, use either the meat of mature bovine or young ovine.  To serve four, assemble the following ingredients:

1 to 1 1/2 pounds herdbeast, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 garlic clove (if desired)
1/2 large onion, cut into bite size pieces
1 pound peeled tomatoes (or 1 16-ounce can of tomatoes in their own juice)
2 cups water
4 small or 2 medium potatoes, peeling optional
2-4 small carrots, sliced
2 ribs celery, sliced into 1 inch pieces
bay leaf
1 cup corn kernels or baby corn cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard or cracked mustard seeds
garlic salt

-Dredge the pieces of meat in flour.  Melt the butter in a saucepan.  When bubbly, add the meat.  Brown the pieces on all sides.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Add the onion and garlic; cook until transparent.  Then add the tomatoes and two cups of water.  Break up the tomatoes with a spoon.  Add potatoes, bay leaf carrots, and celery.  Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, reduce to a simmer, and let cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
-Add corn, spices to taste.  Bring the stew to a boil again, cover and return to simmer.  Cook for 15-30 minutes stirring occasionally until corn, potatoes, and meat are all tender.  Uncover and cook for 15 or so minutes until stew is slightly thickened.

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