Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Irish stew, "ballymaloe" or "stobhach gaelach" in Gaelic, is traditionally made of lamb. We prefer our lambs "hooved and romping a spring day."
Spring brings the good root crops and fresh herbs, all the better to make a stew. The root vegetables add flavor and thickening as well as sustenance. Some cooks add turnips or parsnips and barley when available, but best use potatoes and save the barley for a good malt when the cold comes - and it will.
8 ounces seitan, cubed large
1/2 Cup more or less unbleached flour
8-10 small white onions, boiled and peeled
1 unpeeled garlic clove, smashed
1/4 Cup white vermouth
2 medium white potatoes, washed and cut into eights
1 Cup cooked white beans, drained
2 fresh carrots, peeled and chopped - 1" pieces
1/2 cup fresh sliced or canned green beans drained
1/2 Cup fresh or canned green peas, drained
4 Tbls vegetable oil
salt/fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp fresh rosemary
3/4 Cup chopped fresh tomatoes
1 Tbls tomato paste
2 Cups vegetable broth
Heat oil in a stew pot. Season the flour with salt and pepper and coat the cubed seitan. Braise the seasoned seitan for 5 minutes over medium high heat until browned, set aside.
Using the same pot with drippings, brown the onions and garlic. Deglaze with white wine and add the remaining ingredients, bring to a low simmer. Cover and cook at extreme low heat for 1 hour, add more vegetable broth if needed.
Uncover and add the reserved braised seitan. Simmer stirring occasionally for another 1/2 hour.
Serve with warm Irish soda bread