Do you add potatoes, parsnips, pearl barley or parsley? Wine or beer? Do you need bread and dumplings? Mash on the side? And since when did bowls become outmoded?
In February, that bleak nadir of the British winter, the body demands edible insulation. We need food for the furnace which, simultaneously, elevates the soul. Which is why, this month, How to Eat (the Word of Mouth blog trying to establish the best way to enjoy our favourite dishes), is serving up a big bowl of what else? beef stew (or casserole, if you're cooking it in the oven). It is time to take stock, my little dumplings. So, what's your beef?
A stew is not soup. It should be a thick jumble of chunky XL ingredients, a mouthful, something you rummage through. Not drink. Or slurp off a spoon. There should be no need to play hunt the beef in a thin, watery liquor.
Good things …
Winter brings cravings for comfort food — hearty casseroles and heavy stews that make us feel warm from the inside-out against the cold weather.The problem is, most comfort food doesn’t score high marks in the “healthy” column. In fact, many recipes are packed with calories, fat and salt. It is possible to eat hearty and healthy. But before you start tampering with recipes, consider portion size.