15/06/2011

Stig Stew!

Stig Stew is the perfect lazy paleo staple.

Gather up all the meat and all the vegetables you can find. Dice the meat - steaks, organs and sausages are all good. Sausages should be 100% meat with no filler. You can also use shellfish in with meat, something common to Lancashire Hotpot - oysters and mussels make great accompaniments to red meat.

Dice the vegetables into inch cubes. Aiming for a three to four hour cooking time in order to soften the meat and cook it down to a gorgeous unctious texture,  assemble the vegetables into the order they will be added to the stew - firmest first, for longest; softest last, for the shortest amount of time.

Root vegetables, like potatoes, swede, carrot should go in first, squashes, celeriac and medium firm vegetables after about an hour and finally soft vegetables, like courgette or aubergine about an hour from the end. Mushrooms can be added at any stage and if you are going to add peas, green beans or stringless beans, primally okay, add these about half an hour from the end.

The cooking liqour is made up of meat stock representative of the majority of the meat, so a beef stock if the meat is predominantly beef; chicken stock for white meats - chicken, pork and darker, game birds; lamb for lamb, mutton and goat, even ostrich.

For a really rich stock, add in half a pint of strong Stout!

So, let's assemble the dish ...


Using some animal fats, brown off the meat in a frying pan and add to the cooking pot. The cooking pot can be a large pan, crock pot or a slow cooker.

Fry off any mushrooms in the remaining fat to soak up all the cooking juices. Deglaze the pan with a little water or wine. Add to the cooking pot.

Add the initial vegetables, the stock and top up with water - bring to the boil and hold the heat at boiling for up to half an hour. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for three to four hours, adding the remaining vegetables at their respective times.

Add aromatics - herbs and even a handful of pickled capers. Finally, stir in some arrowroot in water to thicken the stew.

Stig Stew is about imagination! Put in whatever it is that you enjoy, whatever you have to hand or have to use up.

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