Stoo

Right. This is one of those cheap, nourishing, cold weather recipes for stick-to-your-ribs warm-the-cockles-of-your-grockles cooking. Nothing fancy, any meat will do so long as it’s not minced, although meatballs can be substituted if you’re that hard up. The trick is in the preparation. Get that right and it’s Yum time. Fortunately this is so easy anyone can get it right, even me.

Ingredients
Meat cut into half inch cubes (About a pound or half a kilo) Doesn’t matter if it’s Beef, Lamb, Chicken, Pork, Goat, Elk, Moose or Bear. If you like the bones in, keep the bones in. Doesn’t matter.
A pound of onions
A pound of vegetables
A heaped teaspoon of Gravy powder
A heaped teaspoon of flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Two tablespoons of cooking oil (Fat will do at a pinch)
Half a pint of water
Optional extras; Garlic, chillies, parsley (Use as seasoning)

Method:
Dice your onions and put in a pan on a low heat to sweat until translucent.
Mix gravy powder and flour together.
Dust meat in a 50/50 mix of flour and gravy powder.
Put two tablespoons or less of cooking oil into a large frying pan and bring up to a medium heat.
Throw meat into large frying and fry until browned all over with just a hint of dark brown on the edges.
Now throw meat in with sweated onions.
Put water into frying pan and bring to heat, stirring to make sure all the remnants of the fried meat and flour mix are cleaned off the pan.
Add cold water to gravy powder and flour mix. Stir.
Chop vegetables to a smaller size than the meat.
Pour resulting liquor from large frying pan and gravy powder mix over meat and onions.
Add vegetables to mix. You can even add a few mustard dumplings if you’re feeling fancy.
Leave on a low heat for about an hour. Stir occasionally until the gravy is nice and glutinous.
Add seasoning to taste. Garlic and / or Chillies if you’re in the mood. This dish is that flexible. Add a bayleaf, go on, live a little.

Serve with baked potatoes, rice, Couscous, pasta, a slab of bread or simply on its own. Anything to soak up that luscious gravy.

Stoo is a dish that lends itself readily to being saved in containers, frozen and reheated on another day. Some prefer reheating such a dish because as with curry the flavour ‘develops’ after being frozen or chilled for a couple of days.

One final word. Stoo will go with almost anything savoury. Although I’m sure some deviant will want jam on it, but that’s okay by me. Whatever floats your boat.

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Expatriate expostulations from Canada; a.k.a. A Sarcastic man abroad trying to stay in the middle of the road without getting run over.

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