Hugh’s Stew

Standard

This is ripped almost completely from the pages of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Every Day, with minor alterations here and there. I thoroughly recommend the book by the way, it’s got such a range of food that tastes awesome and requires very little skill/finesse. Perfect for me then!

You could totally add loads of other vegetables to this to beef it out cheaply. Or veg it out I suppose would be a more appropriate term…leeks, turnips, sweet potatoes, squash…et cetera! A proper winter-y, root vegetable body-warmer of a dish. Like a hug, from the inside. N’awww.

P.S. Sorry for all the chopping!

Serves 4-5.

Ingredients

6-8 sausages
3 medium carrots, sliced
2-3 onions, sliced into quarter rings
2 baking potatoes, chopped into chunky cubes
2 parsnips, chopped into chunky cubes
6-8 broccoli florets, halved
6-8 cauliflower florets, halved
bowl of peas
bowl of green beans, halved
bottle of cider
2-3 bay leaves
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary (2 tsp dried is a fine alternative)
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme (as above)
2-3 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
1 veg stock cube
worcestershire sauce
golden syrup
cornflour

Method

If you’ve got any life left in you after all that chopping, heat some oil and a dollop of syrup in a l-a-r-g-e casserole dish. Brown the sausages (I cut mine in half, half-way through the browning process) on a medium-high heat then remove and set aside. Add the onions to the oil, lower the heat and sweat for 5 minutes, adding some of the cider if the pan starts to dry out. When your onions are nicely translucent, pour in the rest of the cider, add the sausages, potatoes, parsnips, herbs and cumin. Crumble in a stock cube and add a really good helping of worcestershire sauce. Twist in a good few grinds of pepper and salt and pour in enough water just to cover everything. Bring to a simmer, stick on the lid and cook, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes before adding your broccoli/cauliflower.

After a further 20 minutes of occasional stirring remove the lid and turn up the heat to medium. I don’t know about you but I prefer my stews thick and saucy rather than wet and runny. To help thicken the sauce, put 4 tsp cornflour (or normal flour if you are cornflour-less like me!) to a suitable receptacle. Add a little of the sauce from the pan and stir together with your spoon to try and remove any cornflour lumps. Add the thick, icky mess to the stew and stir in. You might have to do what I did and ladle out some of the sauce into another pan and reduce it down separately, but if you’re well endowed in the casserole dish domain you probably won’t need to do this.

10 minutes before serving, when everything is well cooked and your sauce is reducing throw in the peas and beans. Taste-test along the way and add salt/pepper/worcestershire sauce/whatever to suit your tastebuds. Serve when everything is beautifully tender and there you have it. Dead easy, dead tasty. Thanks Hugh!

J

Ignore those ever-so-slightly-dodgy looking sticks, they’re vegetarian sausages for my vegetarian housemate. Not a fan, myself…I’m fine with vegetarianism, but vegetables pretending to be meat? Bit odd if you ask me!

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