Roasted pheasant stuffed with wild rice served with pomegranate and persimmon sauce makes a flavorful winter dish.
Using goose meat in a stew of beef broth and wine tones down its gaminess and chanterelles, celery root and carrots add a touch of winter flavor
The weather in the Mid-Willamette Valley has turned cool and wet again. It’s the perfect weather to light a fire in the fireplace, turn on some relaxing music and cozy up to a serving of hot stew and a glass of pinot noir.
I’m convinced that there are spices that can make you high. I can be roaming the streets of Portland, Vancouver, B.C., Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, and my hair will start to vibrate and stand on end when I get that first whiff of star anise in the air. My heartbeat quickens. My sweat glands go into overdrive. I start blinking uncontrollably, as my mind disconnects from my body and my feet start searching for the source of the heavenly aroma. Pungent, sweet, savory. Like licorice but more intoxicating. It’s a key ingredient in one of my favorite Thai dishes of ethnic Chinese origins, a stew of hard-boiled eggs, sweet dark soy sauce and pork hocks, that is flavored with star anise and cinnamon.
It doesn’t happen frequently, but every now and then I just can’t bear to eat another meal of chicken, beef, pork or seafood. On those occasions when Mom’s in charge of the meal and asks what we want for dinner, I’ll say Kang Chup Chay, or our family’s version of a hearty Asian-style vegetable stew.
Pork and apples make a perfect marriage. When stewed or baked with apples, the pork takes on the wonderful flavors of apples – sweet, but somewhere lurking in the background is that familiar tart flavor that’s a pleasant surprise.
A beef stew appears on the tables in many cultures and countries. France has “boeuf bourguignon” as well as “daube de boeuf Provençal”. Belgium has “vlaamse stovery” or “les carbonades Flamandes”. Mexico and the Southwest have “carne guisada” which translates as “meat in gravy”. In Ireland it’s called, of all things, Irish stew and more times than not, it contains a liberal glug of Guinness Stout. Here in the US of A we have, well, beef stew and, being as we are the self-proclaimed melting pot of the world, we often make it any way we wish.