STIR THE POT – 3 stews for cold winter nights
Author: Lauren Hunsberger | Photography: Yasmeen Nayfeh | Posted In: Reflections | November 2023
BEGINNER LEVEL - Vegetable Tagine Recipe
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 medium onions, large dice
- 8 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and large dice
- 2 cups butternut squash, large dice
- 2 cups sweet potato, peeled and large dice
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon harissa
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 2 cups canned diced tomatoes
- ½ cup dried apricots, chopped
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups canned garbanzo beans
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Parsley, mint or cilantro leaves
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil and add the onions. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes. Add the garlic and sauté briefly. Add all the ingredients from the carrots to the turmeric. Toss and cook for 5 to 10 minutes over medium heat.
- Add the tomatoes, apricots and stock. Bring to a simmer and cover. Lower heat and cook for about 25 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender. Stir in the garbanzo beans and heat to warm. Add the lemon juice and check for salt and pepper seasoning.
- Serve over cous cous and garnish with the chopped herbs.
INTERMEDIATE LEVEL - Chicken Pozole Verde
- 9 cups chicken stock
- 2 pounds boneless and skinless chicken breast
- 1 pound tomatillos, husked
- 1 onion, quartered
- 2 poblanos, seeded
- 1 jalapeño, seeded
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- ½ cup chopped cilantro (stems are fine)
- 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
- 3 (15-ounce) cans hominy, drained
- Shredded cabbage
- Sliced radish
- Onion, small dice
- In a large pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the chicken breast and simmer until cooked through, 15–20 minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking, puree the vegetables and spices. Note: To peel the tomatillos, place in warm water for a few seconds and the husk will separate from the bulb. Steal a little stock from the pot if it is too thick.
- Once the chicken is done, remove it from the stock and shred with two forks. Add the shredded chicken, tomatillo puree, and the drained hominy back into stock. Season with salt. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Season again as needed.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish.
ADVANCED LEVEL - Beef Bourguignon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ pound bacon, diced
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 2½ pounds chuck beef, one-inch cubes
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and large dice
- 2 yellow onions, large dice
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ cup cognac or brandy
- 1 bottle red wine
- 2 cups beef stock
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 pound button (or cremini) mushrooms, halved
- 1 pound frozen pearl onions
- Heat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Heat the oil in large Dutch oven and add the bacon. Cook over medium heat until the bacon starts to brown. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate. Mix the flour, salt, and pepper. Toss the beef with the flour mixture, then gently tap off excess. In batches, sear the beef in a single layer, turning to brown on all sides. Add more oil as needed. Remove the seared cubes to the same plate as bacon.
- Once all the beef is seared, add the carrots, onions, and garlic to the pot. Stir the vegetables and try to loosen any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions are starting to brown. Add the tomato paste and cook while stirring until the paste starts to brown.
- Remove from heat and add the brandy. Stir to evaporate the alcohol and loosen the food from the bottom of the Dutch oven. Add the wine and return to heat. Bring the wine to a boil.
- Add the bacon, beef, stock, and herbs to the pot and cover.
- Place in the oven for about 1½ hours, or until the meat is cooked and the vegetables are very tender.
- After about an hour of cooking time, heat a sauté pan with the butter. Add the mushrooms and season with salt. Cook until the mushrooms release their liquid and start to brown. Add the frozen onions, and continue cooking until they are thawed and warm.
- Remove once the bourguignon is finished in the oven, return to the stovetop, and gently stir in the mushroom-and-onion mix. Check the seasoning level and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Serve over mashed potatoes or toast, or eat straight!