Grim Speculations: Beef Stew
Recreated from The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Dinner in the Mess was brown bread with butter, stew, and beans. Manet was there, his wild hair making him look like a great white wolf. Simmon and Sovoy groused idly about the food, making grim speculations as to what manner of meat was in the stew. To me, less that a span away from the streets of Tarbean, it was a marvellous meal indeed.
Stew is a Fantasy staple; you don't have to look far to find a pot of it simmering away on the pages somewhere. It's cheap, uncomplicated and evocative (think warm food on cold nights for peasants, soldiers and e'lir alike) which may account for its ubiquity. It's also absolutely delicious when cooked 'low and slow' – easily my favourite winter meal. So, Simmon and Sovoy, I don't care who your dads are; don't go grousing about my stew however lowly the manner of the meat!
Beef stew (serves 6-8)
**This makes a thick stew – some of the liquid evaporates with cooking and what remains is thickened by the flour and fat. If you want a thinner but more abundant gravy, add more stock than I've recommended at Step 6.
Dumplings (optional, makes 12-16)
Equipment: frying pan, tongs for turning the beef, casserole dish, wooden spoon, large mixing bowl for the dumplings
NB: This makes a thick stew – some of the liquid evaporates with cooking and what remains is thickened by the flour and the fat. If you want a thinner but more abundant gravy, add more stock than I've recommend at Step 6.
If you like all your food hearty, you might enjoy these puddings recreated from Philip Pullman's 'La Belle Sauvage'.
2/9/2018 05:34:23 pm
I have personally tasted this, cooked by the author, and can honestly say it's AMAZING !
The Speculative Kitchen
2/13/2018 09:17:07 pm
I've not tried it in a crock pot but in theory the stew (probably not the dumplings) should work well with some adjustments. This site has advice on converting oven recipes: https://civilizedcavemancooking.com/meal-plans/converting-oven-recipes-to-crockpot/ It's seems like time and liquid are the two key factors. I'd love to hear how it goes if you give it a whirl.
3/1/2018 06:38:09 pm
16 shallots seems like a lot and can vary a bit depending on size. Any chance of getting an approximate weight?
The Speculative Kitchen
3/1/2018 06:56:59 pm
I use very small ones (appr. 1 inch diameter) and 16 of them weigh around 400g. If you're in the UK, I'd recommend a bag of Waitrose sweet shallots. I have made the stew with fewer and larger echalion shallots chopped into chunks but they weren't quite so delicious.
3/5/2018 12:52:45 am
Thank you! I bought 10 shallots and they were kind of large. Ended up with about twice that in weight. So I have some extra shallots laying around which is OK. Thank you for the recipe, it was a hit with my wife and I!
3/4/2018 08:27:53 pm
Really tasty stew and perfect for all the snow we've been having. Thank you!!
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