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Cook the Book: Basic Stew Recipe with Four Variations

"Basic" as in it calls for no browning, searing, deglazing or roux.

[Photograph: tienvijftien on Flickr]

There was a point today when I decided that it was just too cold to leave the house—and that point was about five yards outside of my front door. Errands be damned, I retreated back indoors and realized that I should probably put all of this cold-induced time at home to good use. So I made a big pot of stew.

This would serve two purposes: dinner (obviously) and to warm up my drafty kitchen with the heat from the oven.

Jamie's Food Revolution by Jamie Oliver has a great Basic Stew Recipe, which is really just a template for making stews with any number of proteins, herbs, wines, and beers.

The basic recipe is much simpler than many stews I've made before, as it calls for no browning, searing, deglazing or roux, and all of the reducing and braising can be down either in the oven or on the stovetop. It's really just a matter of very minimal chopping and then everything gets thrown into the pot.

I chose the Pork and Cider variation, intrigued by the combination of hard cider, fatty pork, and lots of aromatic sage. The pork stew meat I used had lots of fatty pieces of pork belly thrown in there, so the stew came out of the oven with lots of porky flavor along with great sour apple notes from the cider.

And as planned, my kitchen was warm and toasty not only while the stew was cooking but for several hours after. Dinner served and mission accomplished.

Win Jamie's Food Revolution

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Jamie's Food Revolution to give away this week.

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