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Print this Recipe    Winter 01

Winter Stew
This serves 8 - 10 people

1.25 kg leg of mutton or older lamb
1.25 kg onions
1/4 kg carrots
1/4 kg turnips
1/2 kg (dry weight) Haricot beans
3/4 kg potatoes - old or new
1/2 bottle of red wine
3/4 ltr good stock or made up from stock cubes/paste
butter for frying off the onions and meat
bay leaf
red beans mixed with the haricot beans, optional
fennel, optional

Soak the beans overnight in cold water (you can add a two teaspoons
full of bicarbonate of soda or baking powder to the water if you
wish, this will soften the beans quicker). Cut the meat into bite
size lumps Do the same with the peeled carrots and turnips Peel
the potatoes and keep them in cold water - a chefs tip - float a
slice of bread on top of the water- it will make sure no potatoes
pop up and go black in the air. Peel the onions and cut into big
chunks - another chefs tip - to peel onions easily put them into
hot water for about one minute, it softens the brown skins!

Fry off the onions to obtain colour. Add the meat and fry off (You
can dust the meat with flour if you wish to have a modern floury
stew but I suggest not - wait to the end then try another chefs
sleight of hand). Add the carrots and turnips. Add stock and red
wine Add the haricot beans - if you cannot get haricots substitute
with lima Add the Thyme and bay leaves Cook under a lid for about
1 1/2 hours, skim as soon as it boils then reduce the heat to
rolling over. Add potatoes Continue to cook for a further 1/2 hour
Adjust seasoning and finish for the last ten minutes with sliced
fennel added - or a splash of aniseed flavoured liquour.

Remove a few potatoes and beans, say two good ladles full, and mash
these in a mincer or squashed under a saucepan. Add to the mash 30
grammes of butter and 20 grammes of flour. Beat it hard. Add back
to the stew and reboil. Allow to rest for a few minutes then serve.
This thickening method allows you to keep the stew remains in a
freezer and also regenerate the dish without having the thickening
break down.


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