Yesterday, we celebrated Christmas in July. It was also a farewell for Sister #2 who is moving to Cape Town. Sure, its in South Africa, but Cape Town is a 14 hour drive from Johannesburg and the flights are so expensive now, it’s cheaper to fly internationally than locally. It is rather sad as my dad won’t travel, he health isn’t very good, so I don’t think my parents will see much of them. My family will only see them once a year, if that. Anyhow, that is life and it is full of partings.
Anyhow, moves aside, the lunch was a great success. I spent a lot of time on Saturday preparing food for the lunch. Terence was working and went to the office so I had to do everything myself. It’s a jolly good thing I enjoy cooking.
Beef and Stout stew
American baked beans
Greek roast lamb made by Justin
Vanilla ice cream (store bought)
New York cheese cake
My recipe for beef stout stew for 15 adults (there was also the roast lamb, of course, so this would feed about 10 adults as a stand alone).
3 kilograms good quality beef
2 packets of bacon, chopped into big chunks (250 grams each)
6 large carrots (peeled and chopped)
6 stalks of celery
2 medium onions
4 extra large potatoes, cut into large chunks
1 60 gram tin of tomato paste
1 bottle of stout
1 cup of plain flour
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of thyme
1 tablespoon garlic
4 bay leaves (curry leaves)
8 cups chicken stock
Cut the beef into large chunks. Place in a mixing bowl and sprinkle with the flour, pepper and salt. Toss to ensure each piece is coated in the flour. Heat the olive oil (cover the bottom of a heavy based pot) and brown the meat. Remove the meat from the pot and set aside. Pour a little of the stout into the pot and loosen any browned flour, add to the meat. Add a little more olive oil and sauté the onion and the chopped bacon. Add the carrots and celery and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme and tomato paste and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the rest of the stout and 8 cups of chicken stock. Add back the meat and add the chopped potatoes. Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer and cook for 1 hour. Serve with rice.
A few months ago, I used this recipe to make a beef and stout pie.
These are some of the other dishes that were served:
The American baked bean recipe came out of this cookbook by author Charles F. French
I have read all three books in The Investigative Paranormal Society series and the cookbook is an added bonus. Each recipe is contributed by a specific character from the series and is introduced with an overview of that character’s contribution to a specific book and the series as a whole.
I enjoyed reading a little more about my favourite characters in the more relaxed and culinary setting provided by this cookbook.
The cookbook offers a wide range of recipes, all of which are reasonably simple to make and covers the full spectrum of appetizers, main course and side dishes, desserts, and even drinks. The drinks was rather a fun addition for me and I was pleased to find some great recipes for cocktails including Helen’s Bethberg Iced Tea and Jeremy’s Mint Julep Mocktail (non alcoholic).
From the appetizers, Helen’s Grape and Walnut Side Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing grabbed my attention. I love walnuts and anything involving blue cheese. This salad is certainly a bit different and slightly sophisticated, and would certainly add to any dinner party.
The main course and side dishes range from the fun Roosevelt’s Cheeseburgers and Panfried Vegetables to the more unusual Sam’s Chicken Paprikash to Roosevelt’s Baked Beans. I am pleased to have this last recipe as homemade Baked Beans often come up in American literature and I’ve never tasted them. Now I will be able to try this dish.
The desserts all sound delicious and I am keen to try Roosevelt’s Bread Pudding and Whiskey Sauce and Sarah’s Irish Stout Brownies.
Overall, this book is a great introduction to the memorable characters in this terrific series and is also a useful recipe book with some delicious sounding recipes.
You can read Charles’ latest post here: https://charlesfrenchonwordsreadingandwriting.wordpress.com/2022/07/24/thank-you-to-writers-2/