Ok, so technically it is now October, hence the double post today. I have a different idea of what I’d like to post for an “In My Kitchen October” post, so this has to go up right now.
Even though the weather has only shown it in the last few days (and seems to be back to its warm self today), Labor Day and the end of August signal the start of Fall to me. Even if I have to force it.
I knew I wanted to make a stew, so I was sitting in bed looking up recipes, when Max looked over my shoulder to see what I was researching. “Stew,” he said, “is all technique. You don’t need a recipe.” I insisted that I, in fact, did need a recipe while he may not, but he started narrating the process to me instead. At the end, I still had tons of questions-like “when do the beans go in? after or before the greens?” and “how long should I let the meat rest after I’ve removed it from the stew before shredding it and putting it back in?” He must have felt sorry for me (or wanted to make sure it turned out well so he could eat it), because the next morning he got up earlier than usual and helped me with most of the heavy-lifting.
He showed me proper technique for cutting vegetables because chopping is lame and boring and I’m GOING to injure myself one of these days.
Then he flowered and browned the lamb and got the stew going. I told him we should make a video of him coaching me Food Network style, but it was early in the day for him and he was in no mood for that. Side note: I don’t know why we decided to go with lamb. Lamb is really more of a spring thing to me, but whatever.
After that, I was on my own to finish it up and use my own judgement as to when to pull the lamb out. I worked and waited and tested to see if the meat was “falling off the bone”, my indicator that it was done. Once it was, I pulled it out and let it rest until it was “cool enough to handle” when I shredded it, removed the bone and put it back in.
So now everything that already in the stew is cooked; the heartier veggies and the meat. I added the beans next and when I was ready to eat it-super last minute-I added the collard greens. Max suggested that ideally you’d put the greens in each individual portion as you heated it up to keep the greens’ texture, but come on, I’m not having that. Trust me, it is still excellent if you put all the greens it at once.
I think a stew is a classic that needs to be served up to your family at least once a year in the colder Fall and Winter months. Max and I ate on this one batch for over a week! I mean, not every single day, but you know what I mean.
May this serve as your inspiration to go forth and stew!