Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Atlantic Provinces Dark Days - Hollandse Hachee

Local Meal Two, Hollandse Hachee is on the table,
made by none other than the talented cook, Steve. Cheerfully, yet again, Steve takes on supporting one of my crazy ideas. This time he agreed to cook the nearly 100% local meal while getting his famous sourdough bread ready to bake.

These main ingredients come primarily from local sources. The carrots, green onions and parsley are from our own garden. Right now the parsley is rather smug about living in the front storm porch and is the localist ingredient ever. The round steak is from Getaway Farm. I love their logo; "post-industrial farming with a conscience". One day I will ask what that means to them. The potatoes are sort of local. The shape of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island means that many of our 100 miles are actually in the sea. It is a 5 hour drive to Black Pond Farms, where the baking potatoes come from, but Natasha and Lucas drive to the homestead every few months and bag a few dozen potatoes when Natasha's Dad isn't looking.

Steve in a moment of inspiration decided to add in some yellow wax beans (freezer) on the side and added some mushrooms (Elmridge Farms) to the stew.

The remaining ingredients, flour, onions, sour cream, butter, vinegar, applesauce (Boates apples and pears made by me), red peppers, mushrooms, and potatoes all come from local farms or processors. In a stroke of clever copying, I am following Local Kitchen's example and giving you all resources below.

The same old bad boys are present,
the spices. The garlic is from a huge jar of pickled garlic cloves that were made in Israel I think, the label has gone from the jar. The bay leaf, and cloves come from who knows where. We have researched preserving the garlic ourselves and warning after warning suggests that we can't get kitchen temperatures high enough to prevent dreadful disease. We have bought whole cloves in the past, but they tend to grow on us and turn bitter. I haven't the indoor climate for a bay tree/shrub and I've never bothered to sort out growing my own cloves. Some things will just never happen.

We are still using up Christmas purchases, the beer is from MacCausland's, Montreal, a wonderful Oatmeal blend and the desert is a lovely stollen baked by Julien's Bakery (local baking genius but not sure about the ingredients).
This smells fabulous. It brings back many childhood memories of lots of cousins and kitchen smells, a big boxer dog, and lots of noise.

Hollandse Hachee (Dutch Beef and Onion Stew) served with Applesauce, Greenbeans and Baked Potatoes.
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
2 large spanish onions, thinly sliced
2 1/2 cups beef stock
2 bay leaves
6 whole cloves (or 1/4 tsp. ground)
2 minced garlic cloves (or 2 tsp. garlic powder)
1 TBsp. minced parsley
1 lb. beef, sliced or cubed, all fat removed
1 1/2 Tbsp. vinegar
2 1/2 cornstarch, diluted in a little water (use only if stew needs thickening) NB: Steve says it's too much, it makes the gravy go deep brown and all the other colours of the dish are lost.
ground pepper
1/4 cup red wine optional
mushrooms optional

Melt the butter and add the flour. Add onions and brown slowly over medium heat. Add the beef stock slowly,stirring constantly. Add bay leaves, cloves, garlic and parsley. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes. Transfer to a 5-6 quart Dutch oven, add the beef and vinegar, simmer for an hour. At the end of the hour, add the diluted cornstarch to thicken. Finish by stirring in the wine.

From "Let's Go Dutch, a Treasury of Dutch Cuisine" by Johanna (van der Zeijst) Bates.

Round Steak - Getaway Farms
Mushrooms, onions,green beans, red peppers - Elmridge Farms
Flour - Speerville Mill
Sour cream - Farmers Dairy
Butter - Tatamagouche (Scotsburn Dairy)
Vinegar - Boates Apple Farm
Parsley - our back yard

Feel free! to join in and let me know what you made that was nearly 100% local in the past two weeks. We all did a lot of cooking, there must have been something!

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