Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sucks to be you at Merideth, hey?

At risk of sounding like a weather report, before 9am today, we have had the most rain since February '06. Then, there is the rest of the day up until now.
I was wandering around the city on Thursday afternoon, along Elizabeth street and everyone had a pair of gumboots with them. I obviously had not put two and two together and checked the weather.
But, I am also not one for Merideth. To everyone who has asked me why, I will say it once again.

I hate nature, and nature hates me.

Apparently, by Friday morning, gumboots were sold out around Melbourne.
To that, I think a record has been set and everyone would be wearing the same footwear. It's like boot-camp without the boots, so to speak.

Funnily enough, this morning, nay, afternoon, my friend made baked eggs while I made a vegetable and lentil soup. I didn't get around to eating the soup since I had to run home, but for a change of pace, I made a stew instead.

I am sufficiently sated and full of gluten.

Mushroom and barley stew
Makes a fuckload

100g pancetta, diced
200g mixed mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, diced
1 leek, finely sliced
2 ribs of celery, diced
4 stalks of silverbeet, ribs diced and leaves sliced
2 fresh tomatoes, diced
1 large zucchini, diced
2 cups of barley
red wine
balsamic vinegar
vegetable stock

vegetable stock

Totally prep-bowl heaven.

Saute off the diced pancetta with the mushrooms, season and set aside.
Sweat off the onion, garlic, silverbeet ribs, leek and celery and season.

Then, add the tomatoes and zucchini and turn up the heat.

When everything is done, return the mushrooms and pancetta to the pan and add the barley. Turn the heat on high and add a generous glug of red wine, a glug of balsamic and enough stock to cover.

Make a cartouche, cover with a lid and allow to simmer for about 40 minutes. Stir in the silverbeet leaves in the last two minutes and season to taste.
Make the polenta by whisking the polenta into boiling vegetable stock for 20-30 minutes, making it dryer or as wet as you want. Season with black pepper and add some parmesan to taste.

Serve the stew on top of the polenta with freshly grated parmesan and herbs if you have any.

No comments: