European Stews - Recipes

Desert Lil's Delicacies - A DesertUSA Food Feature

I know I've somewhat neglected desert carnivores in monthly columns to date, so I'll try to make up for it here with these delicious stews from different European cuisines. As I noted last month, stew is generally a meat dish prepared by stewing (simmering for a long time in a small amount of water). Stews are a national dish of many European many countries, from the popular Irish Stew, to the notorious Hungarian goulash, to the infamous German Sauerbraten. While it might be more topical to substitute native desert protein in these recipes, killing most desert animals is usually illegal.

Guinness Irish Stew
Serves 6

Much of what we know as Irish cuisine developed, primarily because of the great availability of fuel. For hundreds of years, probably 90 % of Irish cooking, was done in pots similar to what we call the Dutch Oven. The Irish would place the pot in the middle of the kitchen's fire coals, cover it and rake more coals on top.

  • 2 lbs lamb, cut into stew-sized cubes, trimmed of fat.
  • 3 Tbs oil
  • 2 large onions slice
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup Guinness
  • 4 med, carrots sliced
  • 1 cup peas
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. thyme dried or fresh
  • 2 Tbs chopped parsley

Add oil to stewpot, heat and fry till golden brown. Add crushed garlic and cook for 1 minute. Remove onion and garlic from the pan and put aside. Add meat to remainder of oil in pan and fry until brown on all sides. Reduce heat and coat the meat with the flour, adding stock slowly to form a thick . Add Guinness and simmer. Add onions and garlic and carrots, potatoes herbs and season with salt and pepper. Stir all ingredients and simmer uncovered for 1-2 hours. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Hungarian Goulash
Serves 6

Flavors of Hungarian dishes are based on centuries-old traditions of spicing and preparation methods. Paprika and garlic are to found everywhere in Hungarian gardens and dishes. In the autumn, strings of red paprika (unground red pepper) hang on the white walls of the houses in the neighborhoods along the Danube River

  • 3 lbs pork loin, cut into stew-sized cubes, trimmed of fat.
  • 3 cups vegetables (your choice - carrots, peas, turnips, etc.)
  • 1 large onion (thinly sliced)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large cans tomatoes
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 6 crushed juniper berries

In a stewpot, sauté onion in olive oil on medium-low heat until golden brown. Add garlic in the last 2-3 minutes. Add paprika to lamb cubes then sauté in oil until brown. Add tomatoes, and simmer until meat is tender. Keep an eye on the liquid; add water or red wine if it becomes dry.
Add bay leaves, lemon juice, juniper berries and spices. Simmer on low heat for at least 2 hours. About 1/2 hour before pronouncing it done, add the green beans. Serve with plain yogurt and pita bread.

German Sauerbraten
Serves 6

German Cuisine varies according to each German state's culinary tradition, and to its regional agriculture. Near where the Rhine River flows through the Black Forest, a wine tradition influenced by the proximity to Belgium, France and Switzerland has made Sauerbraten, "beef roast stewed in wine," an international favorite.

  • 3 lbs beef chuck, rump or round roast
  • 2 cups red wine vinegar (or 50:50 mixture of red wine and vinegar)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbs peppercorns
  • 2 small onions
  • 4 large carrots
  • 4 med potatoes
  • 1 cup sweet or sour cream
  • 3 Tbs oil
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • salt, pepper

Place beef in a high dish, filled with vinegar (or mixture), water , bay leaves, peppercorns and 1 onion, diced. Cover and place in refrigerator to marinate 2-4 days, turning meat at least once.

Remove meat from marinade (save the marinade) and dry. Spice meat with pepper all around. Place oil in stew pot, and when very hot, add meat frying until brown on all sides Cut onions, carrots and potatoes in small cubes. Salt the meat, add 2 cups of the marinade, strained and simmer for 2 hours on low heat in a closed pot, turning once. Add potatoes, carrots, onion and Sprinkle brown sugar on meat, then cook 45 minutes more. Remove meat and vegetables from sauce, thicken sauce slightly with flour, and stir in cream. Slice meat and serve with vegetables, ladled with thicken sauce.

Complete Index of Desert Lil's Delicacies


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