Sonntag, 9. Oktober 2011

Medieval pork-beef-stew with black walnuts and quince

This recipe is based on very old recipes from medieval times especially concerning the spices and herbs in use. The only modern ingredient is a tablespoon tomatoe paste and I used celery stalk (forgot to buy celery root)
stew with quince wedges - why does stew always look ugly on pictures?
4-5 servings:
500 g beef chunks (hip part) not too lean
500 g pork  chunks (bacon part )
2 tablespoons bacon cubes
2 medium carrots
1 small parsnip
1 celery stalk
10 small onions
1 herb bundle (sprigs: 1 rosemary, 4  thyme , 1 sweet majoram,  2 summer savory, 1 lovage and 1 sage leave, 2 laurel leaves)
1 small bottle (333 ml) dark and strong beer
Spices - ground together in an electric grinder:
1 teaspoon black pepper corns,
1 teaspoon caraway seeds,
5 allspice corns,
 2 gloves, 
8 juniper berries,
1 small pinch dried and grounded bitter orange peel
6 black pickled walnuts in thick slices
olive oil
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon tomatoe paste (made from dried tomatoes) can be skipped
8 big button mushrooms, older ones with open caps
1 tablespoon dark honey

Cut the vegetables in halves and in bigger slices, peel onions and cut into halves. In a heavy pot heat olive oil.  Roast the vegetables until they show some roast marks. Scoop them out of the pot and set aside. Add 1 batch of meat chunks and roast, scrape the bottom of the pot occassionally. Add a little oil whenever the pot gets too dry and sticky. Remove the meat, set aside and roast another batch (4 batches). While roasting the last batch, add bacon, spices and flour, roast until nicely coloured than add tomatoe paste. Make sure to stir and scrape the bottom of the pot or it will set and burn. Roast only a little. Add all meat chunks, vegetables and the beer. Stir good  and scrape the bottom of the pot to set free all roasted bits and pieces.  Add the herb bundle,
herbs fresh from my garden, attached with a string

mushrooms and salt and close lid. Turn heat to small and let simmer over very  low heat about 2 hours.
Remove herb bundle, adjust seasoning with salt and add sliced walnuts. 

homemade pickled walnuts
I made this walnuts during summer - end of july. They need a few month to mature. But now they are very tasty.

If the roasting processes where done perfectly the stew has a nice brown colour. Due to the beer the sauce is faintly bitter, you cut this bitterness with one tablespoon honey added as last ingredient.

Roasted quince:
In medieval times the quince was well known and much in use. The tangy sweet and aromatic taste matches perfectly with the hearty stew:
1-2 quinces (depending on the size)
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon oil
Wash qinces, wipe of the "fur" and cut in wedges, remove the seeds/core. Heat just a little oil in a non stick pan and roast the wedges until nicely brown roast marks appear, spoon over a little honey, toss and close the lid. Simmer on lower heat until the wedges are soft but not too soft.
Serve: You may eat the stew with bread (baguette is good, but it is more interesting with a rye -wheat bread) It is also nice with some german hand made noodles: Spaetzle

Some say spaetzle were known since the roman empire (2000+ years ago), in fact there are pictures from medieval times showing people eating spaetzle. I think they match well with any kind of stew and roasts and here we go:

For spaetzle (for 4 persons) you need:
200 g flour (instant wheat flour, or all purpose flour),
3 eggs,
a small wooden board, a knife or cake spatule.

Beat eggs and flour together with only a little water (half an egg shell full of water for each egg) and a pinch of salt until the batter becomes smooth. Let sit about 30 minutes, beat again by hand about 10 minutes, better use a strong kitchen machine (3 minutes).
Heat a pot with a lot of salted water.
Wet the board with hot water, give a few spoons of batter onto the board, smear the batter to cover the board in a very thin layer and quickly scrape small strings of batter into the medium boiling water with the help of a wet knife or cake spatule. Wet the board, wet the knife/spatule again and use more batter. When the the strings apear on the surface and you have used up all of the batter on the board just scoop them out and layer them on an oiled baking sheet. The thinner and longer the strings the better the cook...

Spaetzle made for the stew

Because the "how to" is hard to describe just watch this video:
This kind of noodles are tradionally made in southern germany (Schwaben). The woman in this video comes from this area (idiom/accent!!! - my husband did not get one word...) and she is great!
Make the next batch
My share

You may accompany the dish with simmered vegetables as carrots, parsnips.

Left over spaetzle are great layered with grated cheese and roasted onions in a baking dish and baked in the oven until the surface is nicely browned (think mac 'n' cheese) It is a good reason to make some more...


Hiroyuki hat gesagt…

Medieval?! Isn't that fascinating?!

Thanks for the link to the video. Of course, I can't catch a single word the lady says, but I can tell she is good at making the noodles!

Fräulein Trude hat gesagt…

Yes, I do like recipes with historical background. I collected quite a lot. If there will come a time I may retire I would like to do lots of research.

No wonder if you don't get a single word. My grandmother and mother came from the same area as the lady in the video. I do understand everything but I guess there are plenty of germans who don't understand one single word (laugh) maybe it is like 関西弁 but much more worse. She always tells: just dip in (the board, the knife) and smear the batter very thin. Just dip in (in Romanji: nei donga.. "dip in" and "sigscht"- look at). Her last sentence was something like: and now it is your turn...