They're easy to cook and hearty winter warmers but stews have a bit of an image problem, mainly because of the school dinner mush we were served when we were kids. Beef mince slop and concrete dumplings anyone? But it's 2013 AO ( After <Jamie>
Stews, infact, have been around since year dot. The Romans liked a stew (particuarly lamb and fish) and every nationality seems to have their own twist on one, from Gumbo (a South American stew), to Moqueca, a Brazilian dish with shrimp and crab. Wikki lists at least 100 different types from all over the world.
So you see, the humble stew is actually quite exotic in its own little way. And we were pleased to see one of our favourite chefs Sophie Wright giving the dish a modern twist this week. Her Sausage and Bean Stew with Wilted Courgette is a great little recipe for a saturday supper with friends. It's easily adaptable too. Make it veggie by removing the sausage and adding more beans and vegetables. Use pork mince instead of sausage meat. Or swap the beans to what you happen to have in your cupboard. It's as easy as that! Watch the video below for how to make it >>
WATCH SOPHIE WRIGHT MAKE SAUSAGE STEW HERE
SOPHIE'S SAUSAGE AND BEAN STEW WITH
Preparation 10 minutes * Cooking 40 minutes * Serves 4
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 pork sausages, skin removed (use a well-flavoured sausage like a Toulouse or Cumberland)
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 leek, finely chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 sticks celery, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 tsp herbs de Provence or fresh rosemary and thyme
2 tablespoons tomato purée
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
400g cooked haricot or cannellini beans
salt and black pepper
2 tbsp chopped parsley
For the wilted courgettes:
4 large courgettes
2 tbsp olive oil
Juice ½ a lemon
Salt and pepper
1. Place a large casserole dish on the stove and add the olive oil along with the chopped onion, garlic, celery, leek and carrot. Season with salt, pepper and your herbs de Provence and cook for a further 5–6 minutes on a low heat with the lid on.
2. While this is cooking, remove the sausage meat from their skins and break into small pieces. Turn the heat up under the vegetables and add in the sausage meat. Cook for 3-4 minutes until slightly browned and caramelised.
3. Add the tomato purée and cook for 5-6 minutes on a lower heat. Stirring a few times in between.
4. Add the stock and the beans and simmer for 20–30 minutes.
5. While this is cooking you can make the courgettes to accompany it. Ribbon them using a speed or swivel head peeler. Place a large frying pan on the stove and add the oil. When nice hot, add the courgettes and cook for 2-3 minutes until wilted. Add the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper.
6. To serve, place the courgettes into the bottom of your serving bowl. Stir the chopped parsley through the stew and ladle over the courgettes. Grate over your pecorino or parmesan and enjoy.
Catch the latest news on Sophie's blog here www.sophiewrightcatering.co.uk