There is something so comforting about typical fall food. It’s the smell, the colors but above all the taste that make it so. When I read about the three ingredients for the Royal Foodie Joust I just had to participate. It’s my first time in the Joust and I am not a star in making up my own recipes, so I figured that this would be a perfect opportunity to start practicing!
The three ingredients for this months joust where in the colors of Halloween; black and orange and the ingredients itself would be pumpkin, beer and sugar. So sitting with Tom in bed on our regular weekend ‘breakfast in bed’ we started brainstorming on what we could make with those three ingredients and it was Tom who actually came up with the idea to make a stew out of it (see honey, I promised I would give you all the credits!!) and the rest was really fairly simple.
I had never before used pumpkin to cook or bake anything, so the first thing we had to do was buy a pumpkin. We went to the Noordermarkt in Amsterdam where they have a lovely organic market, so that is where we bought pumpkins (yes, I bought two different ones, so expect at least one more pumpkin recipe soon!) and organically produced beef for our stew. For the beer wanted to use stout as that is dark and lovely and all the other ingredients I still had in the kitchen so here is the recipe that we made:
- 350 gr. beef
- 30 gr butter
- 4 small onions
- Half a medium sized pumpkin
- 200 gr round carrots or another vegetable you like
- 1 bottle of Stout or another dark beer
- 5 cloves
- 1 pcs of mace
- 2 bay leaf
- 1 cinnamon stick
- sugar to taste
- Serve with mashed potatoes or rice (we picked the mashed potatoes)
- Cut the beef in chunks of about 2 cm and put pepper and salt on them. Put the butter in a casserole pan and once the butter stops foaming add the meat. Bake the meat for about 10 minutes on medium high till it is browned.
- Cut up 3 onions in rough pieces and add them to the meat. Bake for another 5 minutes. Add the bottle of beer.
- Stick the cloves into the remaining onion (you can leave it whole, it will fall apart anyway) and add this together with the mace, bayleave and cinnamon stick to the meat. Bring to a boil, add pepper and salt and sugar to taste. You don’t want it to be overly sweet. Put a lid on the pan and simmer for approx. 2 hours. Add the carrots in and simmer for another half hour before you add the pumpkin. Simmer for another half hour and check if the meat is fall apart tender and the pumpkin well done.
- You can add potatoes to the mix together with the pumpkin and have a one pot meal or you can make mashed potatoes and serve those on the site. Sprinkle some freshly grated nutmeg over the mashed potatoes!
- You can easily make this dish the day before as the flavors will only get better after a day.
I could see endless variations of this dish really and the pumpkin and sugar give it a nice little bit of sweetness. While simmering on the stove the smells that came of it where delicious!! Especially the cinnamon was very noticeable. I did detect a very slight bitter aftertaste to the dish, which I somehow feel might be because of the cinnamon but not sure.
In any way, we were both really really pleased with this lovely stew and will definitely be making this again! Perfect for a rainy and stormy autumn day (well, it’s sunny here today…) but you know what I mean.