Saturday, January 9, 2010

Dark Days week ???: Farming mom's stew

It's been so long since I've posted my dark days meal that I don't even know what week it is! I guess I'll find out when they do the recap. :) I've had a hard time sourcing local ingredients because as we got ready to move, I used up any stockpile from last summer. There is a small year-round farmers' market here, but but the number of vendors is down and it's also a lot farther away than it used to be because we've moved. (We're still hunting for our new house, found a wonderful one this past week and put a bid on it, but it's a short sale so we have no idea if we'll actually get it.) Anyway, my sister bailed me out by giving us a large box of home canned goodies and some found their way into my recent finally-local meals.

The inspiration from our local meal this week was a post from Farming Mom. I adapted the recipe since I don't have a wood stove and the casserole dish I used ran out of room. After it started boiling over in the oven, I quit adding ingredients. :) Anyway, in our version of the stew I used:

a packet of beef labelled "stew meat" from the cow in our freezer
onion (farmers' market)
garlic (farmers' market)
diced tomatoes (grocery store, since I didn't have any from last summer)
red potatoes cut into chunks (farmers' market)
one quart sister-canned green beans
bay leaves, chives & parsley, dried
salt & pepper

I browned the meat and then added the onion & garlic. Then I put it all into a casserole dish, added the rest of the ingredients, and baked at 350 degrees for about 2 hours. The stew itself tasted delicious, but the meat was really tough. Next time I'll put it into the slow cooker instead of the oven and cook it all day. The green beans were a great addition and I never would have thought to include them except that Farming Mom did.

To accompany the stew, I made "Yucky Bread." Yucky bread was so named when I gave the recipe to a friend who made it for her family. The kids said the bread was yucky, trying to keep everyone else from eating it so they could eat it all themselves, and the name stuck.

I normally use a bread machine recipe called "Cottage Dill Bread," but the book is buried somewhere in storage so I returned to my original Dill Bread recipe from the More-With-Less Cookbook. Local ingredients included Tillamook cottage cheese, Tillamook butter and a fresh duck egg from the market. I would have used local dill if I'd remembered I had some in my freezer, but I forgot. I made the bread dough in my bread machine and then formed it into rolls to bake in the oven. The smell of the baking dill bread is heavenly.

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