These three recipes are great options from around the world that anyone can prepare, even if you’re a bit of a messy chef, but that shouldn’t prove a problem with some help.
1. Irish Beef Stew
This is a simple yet hearty stew with a rich flavor that’s not too overpowering. The beer gives it some extra punch, and of course, Guinness should be your first choice, but any other stout will work.
- 1 ½ pound beef shank
- 1 tbsp oil
- 3 shallots, quartered
- 6 cremini mushrooms, quartered
- 1 large, diced
- 2 large celery stalks, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- ½ tbsp fish sauce
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 cup stout beer (try Guinness for authenticity!)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Dry the beef shank and season with salt and pepper. Heat your oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and sear the shank until golden brown crust forms, this should take about six minutes. Move onto a plate.
Add a touch of oil to the pot, reheat and add shallots, mushrooms, carrot, celery, and garlic, then stir and cook over medium heat until lightly brown. Stir in the fish sauce and tomato paste, then add the beef broth, beer, and your previously browned beef shank. Boil over high heat then let it simmer. Cover the pot and simmer on low for 2-4 hours, until the shank is really tender.
Season to taste and enjoy!
2. African Curried Coconut Soup with Chickpeas
The name’s a mouthful, but so is the flavor of this delicious, vegan-friendly African stew. This particular recipe serves six and it leans a little on the spicy side.
- 1 ½ cups raw chickpeas, soaked for about 16 hours
- 1 cup quinoa, or brown rice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 jalapeno chili, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tbsp curry powder (try getting a milder mix for your first try)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 lb mixed greens – kale, collards, mustard greens, swiss chard
- 14 oz light coconut milk
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Drain the beans and put them in a pot, then add water until it reaches about an inch higher from the beans. Add about 1 tbsp salt to the water, then boil. After that, cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside. Put your quinoa or rice in a pan and add 3 cups of water. Like before, cover and bring to a boil, then simmer for 25 minutes or until the water has evaporated. Drain and set aside.
While you’re cooking up your rice or quinoa, preheat oil in a stockpot over medium heat, and add your onion, bell pepper, and chili, then stir until softened. After that, add your garlic and stir for 1 minute. On the same crockpot, add your broth, chickpeas, tomatoes, curry powder, salt, and black pepper, then boil over high heat. Reduce the flame and simmer gently and uncovered, occasionally stirring for about 10 minutes. Add your greens.
Finally, add the coconut milk, rice or quinoa, and let it all cook together while stirring occasionally for about 4 minutes. Add salt, pepper and curry powder to taste, the enjoy this hearty vegan stew.
3. Swedish Lamb Stew with Pears
This is a bit of a “retro” Swedish recipe with a blend of flavors that’s not very common, but not nearly as exotic as our last one. It’s still a delicious option, anyway!
- 4 lbs lamb shoulder cut into chunks (throw in the bones for more flavor)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 pears, peeled, cored and halved
- 4 potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 2/3 lb string beans, trimmed
- 6 cups water
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 1 sprig parsley
- 1 bay leaf
Preheat your oven to 325 F, season the lamb meat with salt and pepper. While the oven preheats, brown the lamb chunks in a dutch oven with some olive oil until brown crust forms around them. Remove from the dutch oven and set aside. In the same pan, brown the onions and garlic. If any brown bits form at the bottom, scrape them up. Once the onions and garlic are tender and golden brown, return the meat to the pan.
Make a thyme, parsley and bay bouquet by tying them together with twine, then add it to the pan along with 2 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and cover the ingredients with water, depending on the size of your pan. Cover and cook in the preheated oven for an hour. Remove from the oven, add pears, potatoes, and string beans, then cover again.
Cook for another hour or until lamb is very tender and the pears and potatoes are cooked through. Serve the meat first, then surround on the plate with the vegetables and pears. Enjoy!