Friday, April 11, 2008

Tried, Tested and True - Hotch Potch

Giz and Psychgrad from Equal Opportunity Kitchen are hosting a blogging event with a theme of Tried, Tested and True. As the name suggests, this event features a roundup of recipes from around the blogosphere which are "tried, tested and true", and always get good results.

For my entry, I am contributing my mother's stew recipe, which she calls "Hotch Potch". Basically, it is one of those great dishes where you can toss in almost any type of vegetables, sauces and flavourings that you have on hand in with some diced beef, stew for a couple of hours and hey presto - you get a thick, rich, satisfying stew.

My mother often made this dish when I was a child, and I adored it - still do. My brother, on the other hand, is a perennial picky eater, so Mum would have to cook his beef separately from everyone else's as he doesn't like the hearty sauciness of hotch potch. This stew is great served with thick, crusty bread to mop up the gravy.

Mum always makes this stew better than me, because her sauce is always richer and thicker than mine. She is also not the world's most patient person, so she has never given me an exact recipe for this (even though it is definitely tried, tested and true). However, my approximation of a "recipe" for hotch potch is as follows:

500g diced stewing steak
2 tablespoons plain flour + 1 beef stock cube dissolved in 1/2 cup boiling water
mixed peeled and diced vegetables (eg potatoes, carrots, peas)
1 tablespoon promite or vegemite
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
cold water

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Place all the ingredients other than the cold water in a casserole dish, then fill the dish with just enough cold water to cover the meat and vegetables. Put the lid on the casserole dish and cook in the oven for around 2 hours.

This stew is brilliant on a frosty night, as it warms you inside and out.

Thanks to Giz and Psychgrad for hosting this event, and I look forward to the roundup.


Finla said...

One can' go wrong with mom's recipe as they are always full proof :-)

Cakelaw said...

Hi Happy Cook, so true!

PG said...

Looks good Cakelaw! I'm still trying to perfect my stew recipe. It often seems like there's something missing. Maybe it's vegemite! :) Can you taste the vegemite in the stew?

Minor detail - both Giz and I are hosting the event. Actually, I'll just take all of the credit. Kidding.

Thanks for the great contribution to Tried, Tested and True!

Peter M said...

Ok Cake, will the omission of Vegemite make a big difference?

Mom's standard sounds very comforting but Im stuck on the Vegemite, I'm afraid.

Silvia - Magnolia Wedding Planner said...

What a fantastic stew!! I adore it only from the photo and it should be soooo tasty!
You are so good in cooking!

Rosie said...

What a lovely entry Cakelaw. Your "Hotch Potch" stew looks colourful and delsi. I just love those dishes you can add a little of this and a little of that!!

Like Happy says mums recipes are always full proof :D

Rosie x

SaraLynn said...

Yum! It looks great!

Cakelaw said...

Oops - sorry Psychgrad. Joint billing has been acknowledged.

Hi Peter, the great thing about somwething like this is that you don't have to use Vegemite - you can subsitute whatever spicy flavourings that you like. The aim is to end up with sufficient flavour in the gravy to make the stew taste delish.

Thanks Sylvia!

Hi Rosie, thank goodness for our mums - they give us our foundation for the future, even if, like me, we are grudgingly involved at the time.

Thanks Saralynn.

Anonymous said...

Yum! As always, another delicious-looking post!

Cakelaw said...

Apologies to Ange from Vicious Ange (link in my side bar) - I lost her comment in a computer glitch this evening. Ange said:

"mmmm, I love a good stew & this looks mouth watering, looking fwd to cooking up a few of my own this Winter!"

Thanks Ange - I shall watch out for your delicious creations, because I agree that there is nothing like a stew in winter. It's the ultimate comfort food.