5 Hour Wait

5 hours might as well be 5 days or even 5 years when you are waiting to partake of the savory stew that has been permeating every corner of the house with its mouth watering scent.

When I was a child, I remember my Mother making this stew on the coldest day of the year when all you wanted to do was wrap frigid hands around sturdy stoneware bowls containing the fragrant concoction.

Mom’s 5 hour stew was a masterpiece of simple ingredients, seasoned ever so slightly so as not to take away from individual flavors but rather make each one stand out even more flavorful.

Joanne’s 5 Hour Stew (Adapted for Crock Pot Preparation)

1 beef or venison roast cubed

1 can of good dark German beer

2 1/2 cups homemade beef stock

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

1 large onion diced

1 14oz can crushed tomatoes

6 carrots scraped and roughly chopped

4 medium potatoes roughly chopped

1/4 cup fresh parsley minced

4 stalks of celery with leaves chopped

1 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Salt and pepper to taste

3 Tablespoons granular or thickening Tapioca

Brown all sides of the cubed meat in a frying pan. Place meat in crock pot. Pour beer into frying pan stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen all of the meat bits. Allow beer to reduce down by 1/4. Pour into crock pot and add remaining ingredients. Cook on high for 5 hours. Switch to low and cook an additional hour if meat is not as tender as you prefer. Add 1 cup of fresh or frozen peas that have been thawed prior to serving, heat through.Serve immediately or wait until the next day when the flavors really start to come out.

If you choose to make it in your oven the cooking time is 5 hours at 350°

Apple,Walnut, Wild Rice Duck Sausage

Walking through an Autumnal forest is an experience akin to walking the sacred aisle of a holy sanctuary. Multicolored leaves litter the ground like the broken panes of a great cathedral. A hush falls over the landscape only to be broken by the rustle of foraging creatures.

So much is to be gathered from field and forest during this season of harvest and the following sausage recipe has been handed down through the generations of my family. Each kitchen in which it has been prepared has added ingredients but the basic idea remains untouched. A soul warming food made from that which the woods and water provide.

Apple, Walnut, Wild Rice, Duck Sausage

3 lbs wild duck meat

2 lbs ground pork or country pork sausage

3 medium onions chopped

2 apples peeled and chopped

3 cups unseasoned bread crumbs

1/2 cup raisins

Run these ingredients through a meat grinder then add:

1 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup cooked wild rice

1/2 cup morel mushrooms cooked and minced

1/4 cup black walnuts ground into powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Combine well and chill covered overnight to flavor through.

Fry as  patties, bake as a meatloaf topped with rich ketchup, or put into casings as sausage.

IMG_20171026_190324