This stew takes hours to cook, so you can leave it on low heat while you are enjoying the St. Paddy day parade or the pub with friends, and it will be ready when you come home. By Rikke Oestergaard
With a heavy, savoury stew like this it is a test to create an appropriate flavour balance. Every time you cook anything or put something together on a plate, you should remember to represent all 5 flavours: sweet, sour, salt, bitter and umami. If you can manage this, you will almost always end up with something pleasing on your plate. When making a stew, this can be hard, as everything is mixed together and often very heavy. The porter represents the bitter. The slow cooked beef, the mustard and the Worcester sauce beef brings the umami, sweetness comes from the root vegetables…but, from where do we get the sour?
That’s where the quince come in. Though traditionally Mediterranean, this beautiful fruit works great as a tangy surprise in any stew and freshens up what can otherwise be a somewhat dense dining experience. If you can’t get a hold of quince, you can easily replace it with apples – this dish is all about adaptability. Use the root vegetables you can easily find or maybe already have. If you have lamb or another red meat in the freezer, use that instead of beef. If you have beef stock ready, use that rather than chicken. If you have Guinness ready for St. Paddy’s day, by all means chuck in a can of that, rather than the porter.
As a Dane with an international outlook, Rikke's recipes covers every cuisine in the world, but with a classic, warming and clean Scandinavian twist. She cooks seasonal, organic and economical food, blogs at 02acres.com and believes she might have been born 50 years too late.