Friday, July 27, 2012

Summer garden stew

This delicious stew was made with the base ingredients for any great meal:  a cast iron pot, saved bacon grease, a hunk of meat, onions and garlic.

I thawed some pork hocks and browned them (high flame) well in bacon grease in the cast iron Dutch oven.  Cast iron is the only way to go for this type of meal.  With the black pot, you don't worry so much about over browning and you MUST use plenty of grease....two things that add much flavor to the dish.

Once the meat was browned on all sides, I added a couple of diced yellow onions to brown (medium flame), stirring occasionally while I peeled and minced some garlic.  I love garlic....I used 8 medium/small cloves.  I added the garlic when the onions were almost translucent and allowed it to sweat for a minute or two.  Then I added a quart of broth.

I wanted a rich stew.  I could've just added boiling water and the hocks would make plenty of broth, but my plan was to fill this pot with lots of veggies, which would take up a lot of the flavor.  I wanted a very meaty flavor, so I splurged and also added broth.

Then I went to the garden to see what I could find.

 Turnips and green beans will be great in a stew.

As will collard greens, which hold up well with long cooking and re-heating.

Since  collards take a long time to cook, I added those first, cut with scissors into manageable squares.

Meanwhile, I peeled and diced the turnips and washed and broke the beans into thirds.  I added the turnips next.

I ran back out to get a few new potatoes, and cut them into large chunks.

The pot is getting full!  With the cover back on, I let the potatoes and turnips cook for about ten minutes.

A simple salad of fresh cukes is a nice way to start this meal.  These are wonderful dressed with a drizzle of raw apple cider vinegar and organic extra virgin olive oil.  Add a few shakes of a good sea salt and black pepper.

Don't forget to add salt and pepper to the stew as well!

The lid was lifted on last time to add the green beans and simmer another ten minutes or so.  Then I shut off the heat and let the flavors blend for a little while.

We got two generous meals out of this stew.  Stews like this are actually better the next day, so this is a great dish to make ahead for a busy day.  The entire pot can go into the fridge and then onto the stove when you get much better than take-out!

It smelled so divine that we dove into it and I completely forgot to take a picture of the finished instead, I will offer an alternate photo:

Duck soup!

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