Last Friday I had the day off and having some stewing meat in the fridge that needed using I decided to make a stew. Now me and stew did not have a happy relationship when I was a child and I hated it with a vengeance. In fact it is only in the past five years or so that I have started eating stew and appreciating it. I hated swede and parsnip with a vengeance but most of all I hated kidney beans and mum would insist on putting them in stew. I used to religiously sort out all the bits that I did not like and stack them on the side of the plate. There then commenced a battle of wills as my parents were equally adamant that I was going to eat everything up on my plate and I was not allowed down from the table until I had made an effort. (invariably they would get fed up and let me off). Needless to say for many years I did not eat stew. Its funny how your tastes change when you are an adult things like stew, rhubarb gooseberries etc which were no no's as children now as an adult I find myself craving for such goods and they subsequently make an appearance now and again on the menu.
Anway I digress. I made the stew in my pressure cooker. Its the most economical way of cooking a meal and it makes even cheaper cuts of meat very tender, and is good for making stock in. I always use the pressure cooker for making my Christmas puddings, steamed treacle sponge etc. etc. You can cook a whole meal for four in one; the meat course and veggies in one fair swoop. Most people are frightened of them but really there is nothing to fear - they do hiss but my mum has always used one and I suppose it was only natural that I would end up with one too. Except I have three as I used them in preserving as well. I have a Tower and two Prestige ones and yes you can still get the replacement seals etc.
For making the stew I started with some oil and then some butter and then fried a couple of the onions until nicely golden brown then added my stewing steak I did not flour but gently cooked through and then added some gravy that was left over from a meal in the week. A stew is a good way of using up odds and ends. Then I added some carrot cut in chunks and then some swede, bay leaves, some fresh parsley and potatoe to thicken up the stew (especially good if you have allergies) some white pepper, some lea and perrins (worcester sauce) and some marigold flavouring and some mixed herbs as well as a couple of stock cubes and some water or some freshly made stock and some stock cubes, and a smidgeon of tomato ketchup and then cooked it for 40 minutes in the pressure cooker. When I took the lid off it smelt really good and I tasted with a teaspoon to see if the seasoning needed adjusting and it was just right. It was Destined for Friday night's tea for OH and myself. Well that was the plan.
In the afternoon I was at the hospital with my mum who had to undergo a procedure under sedation. It turned out that she was last on the list so we spent the whole of Friday afternoon at the hospital and because we were late out and the sedation had affected mum I stayed with her overnight which had not been the original plan, but we had to make sure she was safe. I mentioned in passing to OH when I called and explained that I was staying over that there was some stew in the pot if he wanted something to eat. Fatal mistake.
On my return on Saturday I went to get some stew and the pan was scraped clean. He had snaffled the lot. So because I missed out last week on stew it is destined for one night this week for tea. I might even add some dumplings to this batch. If the weather is going to be as cold as predicted you need something warm and satisfying and substantial to keep you going through the bad weather and it just uses simple ingredients. Good simple substantial food which if you do not have a gannet in the house should last a good couple of meals. I currently have a chicken carcass on the go with some veggies that needed using up so that we can have some home made soup during the week. I have plenty of onions and pumpkin that need using up as well as some carrots and coriander.
Hopefully I will get a look in later in the week.
Catch you soon