Saturday, 8 November 2008

K's magic stew

Phew, almost didn't make it for today's post. I'm working on something very exciting at the moment. Something very hush, hush, and it's totally consumed the latter half of my day. The first half of course being taken up with Arsenal's fabulous win over Man Utd. Mwahahaha!

Anyhew, to come back to the point. Today we're going to talk about stew. Not just any stew. K's Magic Stew.

I have a friend. No, wait she's more than a friend, she's a posse member, and to a certain four ladies that's a very very special thing to be indeed. Not only is she one of the posse, she's also part of the hivemind. Now this comes with certain responsibilies, like finishing my sentences before I've even thought of them, texting me at the exact same time I text her, thinking the same things and not even having to say them outloud. You're getting the picture now aren't you?

Well, this lovely hiveminded lady, let's call her K, has talents far wider ranging than just knowing what I'm thinking, and amongst these is cooking. Not just any cooking, but the cooking of all those fabulous comforting savoury dishes that make you think of warm fires and hearty walks in the hills, even if you never had or did those things.

Once when I stayed with her she made stew. Just stew. Not a decedent plate of beautifully stacked food, resting in a "jus." A bowl of simple, steaming vegetable goodness. It was amazing. One of those things that stays with you forever.

When the weather became cold and rainy here, and the autumn veg started piling up, I thought of the stew, and failing having K to make it for me, immediately emailed her for the recipe.I almost followed it to the letter, but couldn't resist adding some wine! I hope she doesn't mind, but I am going to post here exactly what she told me. The results were wonderful, if you ever need a bowl of autumnal comfort then here it is:"Basically get the veg you want chop it into large pieces (larger than you think as it mushes down!oh and peppers are surprisingly good in it!) and cover with water and a veg stock cube - add pepper (I don't generally bother with salt as its usually in the stock cubes) and whatever herbs you fancy. The secret is a bay need a bay leaf. Simmer away until veg etc are almost cooked and then crumble in a further stock cube, taste for seasoning and add the dumplings for the last 20mins or so. You can make it without the stock cubes but you generally need some pretty flavoursome veg and need to simmer it for longer!"

My dumplings:

118g self raising flour
50g vegetarian shredded suet
herbs to taste
white wine to make into a dough

Mix together the flour and suet, then add as much dried herb of your choice. Then add white wine so that it comes together into a dough. Place in the stew twenty minutes before serving, and turn over ten minutes into the cooking time.

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