Before I get into the exciting news about my lunch, I just wanted to note that there's BSG comment fic on my "Who should Kara fuck?" post. Kara/various, including Lee, Sharon, Laura, and Sam Carter. (Not all at once!)
A few weeks ago, I asked for advice on what to take to work for lunch, so as to save cash. I've made a bit of progress since then.
First off, I purchased a new humungous lunch bag for all my fabulous new food. It will comfortably hold a large lunch or a sixpack or a human head. Here's a photo, with LEGO Snape included for scale.
I bought a mountain of plastic containers, the kind that are cheap so if you leave your tuna sandwich in them for three weeks, you can just pitch it and not worry about the cash. (You do have to suppress your guilt about putting more plastic into landfills. So it's better all round to just eat the sandwich.)
And today I actually cooked a big pot of stew. I got the recipe fromlaurashapiro, but since it's stew, I changed it around a bit.
These ingredients are essential:
- 2 lbs stewing beef or lamb, cut in rough chunks
- 3-4 cups wine, stock (chicken, beef, or vegetable), beer, cooking sherry...whatever you've got -- if you have none of the above, water
- works just fine
- 1 medium onion
- 3-4 large carrots
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp dried herbs (thyme, marjoram, oregano, sage, and/or rosemary are all good)
- salt and pepper to taste
These ingredients are optional:
- 2-3 turnips
- 3-4 ribs celery
- 1-2 parsnips
- 2-3 tbsp tomato sauce
- handful of greens (kale, chard, spinach, etc.)
Put the meat on the bottom of a large stewpot. Peel and chop the onion into quarters and throw it into the pot. Scrape and chop the carrots into large-ish chunks, and add them to the pot. Clean, chop, and add any additional vegetables (except greens -- these go in at the very end). Add your liquid to just barely cover the ingredients. Throw in the bay leaf. Rub the herbs between your palms to release their flavor and drop them in.
Turn the heat on high and bring contents to a boil, stirring occasionally. As soon as the stew boils, turn the heat way down to low. You want the stew to continue to simmer *very* gently -- just barely bubbling. Add the tomato sauce if using, stir about, and partially cover the pot.
You may now go about your business for anywhere from 1-2 hours, checking about every twenty minutes to make sure the stew isn't boiling (if it is, turn down the heat further or uncover the pot). The idea is to cook this as slowly as possible, so the meat is tender and the vegetables nearly falling apart. Leave it 2 hours if you can stand it -- it tastes better the longer it cooks. Add salt and pepper in the last fifteen minutes, along with your chopped greens if using. Serve in a big bowl by itself or with the accompaniments mentioned above. Refrigerate unused portions in tupperware and take with you to work.
NOTE: The above works well with a minimum of effort, and is best if the meat is bone-in (although that makes it a little more work to eat). For best flavor, begin the process by dredging the meat in flour, salt, and pepper, and browning it in hot olive oil to quickly sear in juices. Then add the other ingredients and proceed as above.
- 2 cups Espresso Stout + undetermined amount of Beef OXO for cooking liquid. I'm drinking the rest of the stout right now. Yum!
- Half an onion that was the same size as all the other onions, so who knows if it was medium or not. I chopped it into small bits, threw in a couple of garlic cloves, and tossed it in with the meat and olive oil to brown.
- Mini-peeled carrots instead of buying nasty unscraped carrots. I bunged them in whole and they were just the right size.
- Two large-ish potatoes. The potato display was arranged such that when I pulled them out, a million other pototoes fell onto the floor. I fled the scene.
- A random amount of Worcestershire sauce shaken in.
- No turnips, no celery, no parsnips, no greens.
- Right at the end, I added a tin of corn and a bunch of heated-up frozen peas.
Next time, I would add another potato, but put them in a little later during the cooking process. They were a bit overdone. And there could have been more garlic. Also, I need to buy a fancy vegetable scraper for the potatoes. I couldn't find my cheap old one and had to peel them with a knife.
I have salad and rice crackers and granola bars to add to all of this and I'll buy some sourdough bread at the bakery near work.
Now I just have to figure out what to have for supper instead of toast...
Did you know that recipe is the imperative of the Latin verb recipio? In this context, it means "take", like "take three eggs, take two bottles of beer, mix them together". And so it came to be our English noun.