So the fiddliest bit of this recipe involved taking my giant, very unattractive tub of ingredients and separating them into meat, marinade and vegetables. The best tactic I found was using two spoons, first to strain off most of the liquid into a bowl, and then to pick up a piece of meat and flick the finely sliced onion, carrot and garlic off. It was worth doing though, as the meat has to be browned before adding to the casserole pan and the veg would be sizzled to a bitter crisp in the process.
Veg, browned meat, more garlic, marinade, and a tin of tomatoes into the pot, then back to some calming slicing and sautéing of mushrooms.
Given that the meat needs a good 90 minute or 2 hours, the mushrooms would be completely disintegrated, so this is a good trick that I’ll use again.
Next up, the sludge. There’s no other way to describe this brown-ish goo, flecked with green. It’s just not attractive, but that’s not the point. Garlic, anchovies (I used the oil to sauté the mushrooms in), red wine vinegar and parsley. While the recipe calls for 2tbsp of chopped parsley, I just stuck in a few stems from a bunch as the stalks in parsley are just as tasty as the leaves once whizzed up.
Deeply unattractive, but exactly what the dish needs – some pure umami, a little sharpness, and a fresh burst from the herbs. It’s stirred in about 15 minutes before the end of cooking, with a little roux to thicken the sauce, if that’s how you roll.
While the pot simmered I made some mashed potatoes to go along with the stew, and dealt with the dishes, of which there are quite a few – marinating and pulling the food processor out makes it a little heavier on the washing up.
Et voilà, the end result!
Maybe I shouldn’t have gone for something so unphotogenic and….brown goo-ish for my first recipe, but it was delicious. My only regret is that it’s taken me this many year to make it. We had leftovers this evening and, like most stews, it was even better
Next time I make it, I’ll start the meat marinating on a Friday night, so I can do some chopping and stirring on Saturday and then reap the minimal effort rewards on Sunday. While I made plain, buttery mash, the recipe recommends a leek champ to go along with it – I think it would be particularly good with a root veg mash, especially one with a little cream and nutmeg involved.
Oversll, two hearty thumbs up. Yum!