Source: Mock Bavarian Beer Beef Stew
Dear Neighbors Northers,
Before one can write or do the other things that need to be done, one must eat. If one is fortunate to have one’s own kitchen, nothing beats making food to one’s own liking and specifications.
Mock Bavarian Beer Beef Stew
The Urban Farmer is trying not to panic about the high temps this weekend, but… she kinda sorta is. Yesterday she geared up. She spent the entire day cooking. She wanted to have lots of meals ready so she wouldn’t need to cook during the heat wave. She cooked up chili, ratatouille, sourdough bread (which lately she is having extreme luck with—does she finally have the process down? Fingers crossed praising the loaf won’t lead to loaf failure), rhubarb crisp, soup stock, a double batch of marinara which she then used to make a double batch of lasagna. Lastly she prepped beef stew meat for a batch of Bavarian Beer Beef stew, which morphed into Bavarian beef stew or maybe Belgian beef stew or maybe just stew?
The veering started in the beer aisle of the grocery store. She didn’t want to pay 5 bucks for a bottle of Bav beer, which as it turns out the recipe didn’t call for anyway. The recipe called for Belgian Ale. The Urban Farmer’s sis, who alerted the UF of Bavarian Beer Beef stew’s epic taste, told her the name of the beer she should get on the sisters’ urban walk the day before, Thurs. Actually the Urban Farmer’s sis had two stellar Belg beers to recommend. Way back in the Bush 1 era, she had been quite fond of them.
The next a.m., Friday, the Urban Farmer was standing in the beer aisle, on system overload, swamped by all the beer offerings. Darn if she couldn’t remember what beer her sis had recommended.
For the Urban Farmer, the answer in such brain-tazing situations, is to square one things. She skipped the beer entirely. She would use what’s at hand. (It’s her favorite kitchen technique.)
The Urban Farmer pedaled home with her onions, parsnips, and 2 and ¼ pounds beef. She had plenty of things she could use for a marinade.
She splashed a good dose of sherry into the pot, then thought wait a minute gosh darn. Why wasn’t she using the liquid leftover from making sauerbraten? One slap to the forehead later, she was digging the leftover sauerbraten liq. out of the freezer. While that was nuking, she threw in a couple tablespoons kim chi liquid. Lastly she poured in the leftover half cup of ginger-turmeric elixir. The elixir had been sitting in the large Adams Peanut Butter glass jar for over a week. The liquid level in the jar hadn’t budged. It was getting on the Urban Farmer’s efficiency and fridge organizational nerves.
So, that was the marinade for the beef:
roughly 2 c leftover sauerbraten liq. thawed out in microwaver, plus about 1/4 c each of the following liquids: kim chi, sherry, ginger-turmeric elixir.
The Urban Farmer dutifully added parsnips and carrots—which her sister had raved made the beef stew so good. She also sneaked in red cabbage because you can’t really make mock sauerbraten or mock Bav/Belgian stew or even unmock those things without throwing in some cab.
This morning the plan was to pressure cook the whole shebang in the InstaPot but the Urban Farmer got cold feet. InstaPot works excellently for ratatouille, soups, and the cooking of legumes, but she’s had poor luck InstaPotting meat chunks. Back in March there was the Corned Beef and Cabbage disaster. All day she looked forward to C B and C with Co-hab and the sister. But when the time came to pop the lid on the InstaPot, the meat, let alone the cab, wasn’t even close to done. Who knows what went wrong. Operator error? No matter, she threw the whole shebang into the old school slowcooker crock pot and voila, the next day she had succulent, yumalicious C B and C. But, it was a day late. On the 18th, not the customary 17th of March.
Anyway, now the Bav Beer Beef Stew that really isn’t, but more like some kind of hybrid, foods-of-the-world stew, is slowcooking. And not in the house, but outside, just off the back door where a convenient extra outlet is located. Fingers crossed the liquid is quietly burbling away, slowing morphing something ‘licious.
OK, enough on food. Now, back to T to Pal.
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Co-hab and the Urban Farmer just finished dinner. Neither one of them could stop at one slice of this incredibly delicious pie. Both Co-hab and the Urban Farmer had two slices. This dinner was stratospheres better than last night’s fare: Progresso lentil soup topped with chopped up veggie dog and a side of the night before’s beet, apple, and carrot slaw. Tonight’s dinner was ambrosiacal. Even better, the pie is gluten-free!
Here’s the Urban Farmer’s method on how to prepare.
Filling: Sauté 2 large leeks (chopped and minus the green tops) , 3 c chopped crimini mushrooms, and 2 cloves garlic (minced). Add to this ¾ c fine chopped walnuts, ¾ c fine chopped prunes, and 1 c cooked pinto beans.
Sweet Potato Crust: Microwave 3 large sweet potatoes, cut into largish chunks. Remove skins. Mash potatoes together with one stick butter. Whip in one egg and ½ t salt ( less if using salted butter).
Assembling: Press about two-thirds of the sweet potato mixture on bottom and sides of a greased, 9 in. pie pan. Add ½ the filling. Sprinkle on ½ cup fine chopped or shredded mozzarella or equivalent cheese. Add rest of filling. Top with another ½ cup shredded or chopped mozz. Spoon on rest of sweet potato crust. Use spatula to press sweet potato crust out to edge of pie and to flatten the spooned out dabs.
Bake for 30 min in a 425 degree F. oven.