Saturday, October 01, 2005
It's fall - so here's a stew
Stews and one-pot dishes are very much a fall and winter food for me. Today is definitely the beginning of fall in Sweden - it's cool, crisp and gorgeous outside. I decided on a stew with a lot of red wine, adding some of the rosemary and sage that has survived the first frosty nights outside, and a couple of pears that were sitting in my kitchen. And as it happens, stews with wine are quite nice to drink with wine, and since Andrew tagged me for the Meme With Two Tails - this is my entry for that. It's certainly the most wine-appropriate food I've cooked for quite a while, and definitely the first wine I've had in several weeks. (Not by choice - but with all the antibiotics.. yeah.)
And who am I tagging? For a foodie, I'm choosing Pille at Nami Nami who's away in Mexico and I bet is sure to have lots of wine-food-experience to talk about, and for a wine blogger.. I'm actually going to tag a Swedish one, Vinbloggen who is run by Morgan Skantz, currently living in Spain.
So - what wine would that be then? I'm using a bottle of Graham Beck Merlot, 2003 from South Africa. It was very nice here - soft and mellow, and a perfect pairing with the aromatic rosemary and sage, and the sweetness from the pears. This is, however, the time to admit that I mostly like wine on its own, or possibly with cheese. I rarely manage to get that ultimate experience with a great wine/food pairing, and thus usually drink water with my food.
October Stew with Pears
1 kilo meat for stewing (I use fransyska), in large pieces
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed
375 ml (half a bottle) of red wine
3-4 carrots, peeled and divided in large pieces
3 small pears, peeled and cut into wedges
100 g walnuts, whole or roughly crushed
1-2 tbsp cornstarch
250 ml cream (or half and half, or whatever substitute you'd like)
salt (Falksalts Rosemary Salt if you can find it)
fresh rosemary, a small handful, chopped
fresh sage, about ten medium leaves, chopped
Get out a large pot, and melt a pat of butter. Sear the meat, until it has some color on all sides. Add the garlic and onion. Salt generously. Add the wine - it should almost cover the meat. If it doesn't, add water. (About a cup or so). Bring to a boil, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes. At that point, add the carrots and the fresh herbs. Keep simmering for 20 more minutes. Then, add the pears, the walnuts and the cream. Continue to simmer for another fifteen minutes, then add the cornstarch, bring to a final boil and simmer until it's thickened slightly. Serve with your choice of carbs or starch - we ate it with bulgur, it'd have been nice with boiled potatoes or rice as well.