Monday, 1 February 2016

Tuesday Food Blog - I don't like this/that stew

As a child of the babyboomer era I was brought up on fresh fruit and vegetables, home roast dinners and broth! I must have been a pain to feed because even I have to admit to remembering the whinge that accompanied mother's announcement that it was broth for lunch.

Image result for victorian broth

The definition of broth is no more appetising,

Broth is a liquid food preparation, typically consisting of water, in which bones, meat, fish, cereal grains, or vegetables have been simmered. Broth is used as a basis for other edible liquids such as soup, gravy, or sauce.

What Mum dished up was much more packed and resembled 
stew or Victorian broth than the watery stuff that broth often is.

This/that Stew

One of the reasons I wasn't keen on mam's version was the barley that was always a part of the dish. I still don't like it.
When looking for a recipe for the weekend I came across one which claimed to be Irish Stew but it contained yet another vegetable of which I am not particularly fond - CELERY! It's genetic. 
My mother's mother, my grandma whom I never knew, suffered from rheumatoid arthritis which was a severe problem. In the 1920's and 30's with no NHS and little money there was no availability of painkillers. So it was a case of reverting to old wives' remedies and for pain it was to drink the water from boiled celery! Mam grew up with the smell, didn't like eating it herself and that feeling has been passed on in the genes. 

Image result for devil's celery

I hate it in all its evil forms. It is the food of the devil and those that stick it in every damn recipe are the spawn of the devil!

Rant over!

So I considered the recipe and was thinking I don't like THAT and I
don't like THIS so decided to call it the This/That Stew and made 
suitably Atkinson friendly adjustments.
Out went the celery and in came a red pepper, it was supposed to 
be green but the supermarket weren't selling any loose green 
peppers so I bought a red one. Instead of lamb I found some lean 
cut beef and with the addition of carrots and onion had the basis of 
the stew. Of course I still had the recipe in front of me and finished 
it off with a layer of potato on the top.
Like all stews it is bunged in the oven and cooked slowly for 
hours, except for the last half hour when the lid of the casserole is 
removed, butter dotted on the potatoes and allowed to finish with a 
nice crusty top.
Now of course you can design your own family friendly stew. 
Mine would have suited many members of the family as there was 
no garlic, not too many herbs (I did use parsley), and no alcohol. 
You could use all or some of those, and use different vegetables. 
The tastiness and suitability for your loved ones is up to you and 
when complete there is only one person to blame if it isn't popular!

No Pressure!

(Apologies for the messy formatting)

God Bless