Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Scarborough Fair Stew

When I was about 12, I spent a lot of time playing a recorder - as did every kid at HGMS - and Scarborough Fair was one of my favourite songs. I was thinking about the refrain and decided to try using those four herbs in a recipe - and voila! Scarborough Fair Stew was created.

What you need - 500 gr of stew beef, 2 Tbs bacon grease, 1 small onion, 1 rib of celery, 3 carrots, 4 med potatoes, 1 small rutabaga, 1/4 cup pot barley, salt and pepper, 1 tsp each of dried whole leaf herbs - parsley, sage. rosemary and thyme. If you have fresh herbs, all the better - use about 3 Tbs chopped of each.  Optional - 2 cloves of garlic minced.

2 ways to cook this - either in a Dutch oven, or a slow cooker. Method is similar for either way.

In a large skillet, heat bacon grease and brown the meat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Meanwhile peel and mince onion, (garlic, if using), thinly slice celery, and peel and chop root vegetables. Place all these into the Dutch oven or slow cooker, and stir. Add browned meat with pan drippings. Add 2 cups of water, barley, and herbs. If using slowcooker, turn on to low power* and cook 10 -12 hours, stirring occasionally. If you are in more of a hurry (as in OMGoodness, I forgot to start the stew before I left this morning!!!!) - cook on high for 6 hours, or use the Dutch oven. If using Dutch oven, place on lowest heat on  smallest burner and cook for 3 - 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

To make this gluten free- omit the barley.   Hope you enjoy.

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