This week we are doing a guest post swap with Outlander Kitchen, the fabulous blog that does for Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series what we do for Game of Thrones. We might wish we’d thought of it first, but she’s doing a terrific job, and every one of her recipes looks delicious. Naturally, we jumped at the chance to get in on the action. She chose to make some Sister’s Stew, and we sent her a venison stew recipe fit for the wilds of Revolutionary War era North Carolina, which you can read about here.
“The beer was brown, the bread black, the stew a creamy white. She served it in a trencher hollowed out of a stale loaf. It was thick with leeks, carrots, barley, and turnips white and yellow, along with clams and chunks of cod and crabmeat, swimming in a stock of heavy cream and butter. It was the sort of stew that warmed a man right down to his bones, just the thing for a wet, cold night…”
-George R.R. Martin, Dance with Dragons
Davos may be down on his luck, but a bowl of this saffron-kissed, creamy white chowder-on-steroids is bound to give him a little strength along with a flicker of hope. Thick with barley and hearty with cod, crab and clams, the stew is finished with butter, a classic french technique used to add richness and gloss.
Many thanks to my hosts, Chelsea and Sariann for their welcome at the Inn.
(Click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)
Yield: Serves 4-6
- Olive Oil – 2 Tble
- Leek, white & light green only, well rinsed & diced – 1 Cup
- Carrot, peeled & diced – ½ Cup
- Celery, diced – ½ Cup
- Garlic, minced – 2 cloves
- Pearl Barley – ¼ Cup
- White Wine/Vermouth – ½ Cup
- Clam Nectar – 1 Cup
- Water – 3 Cups
- White Turnip, peeled & diced – ½ Cup
- Yellow Turnip (Rutabaga), peeled & diced – ½ Cup
- Fresh Thyme – 2 sprigs
- Whipping Cream – 1 Cup
- Saffon Threads – pinch
- Fresh Cod, in small chunks – 1 lb
- Crab Meat – ½ lb
- Clam Meat – 1 Cup
- Butter – ¼ Cup
- s+p – to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the leeks, carrots and celery, and sweat until translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and barley. Stir constantly until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Deglaze with wine/vermouth and reduce until almost dry.
Add the clam nectar, water, turnips and thyme. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to the boil. Reduce to medium-low and simmer until the vegetables and barley are tender, 30-40 minutes. Remove the woody thyme stems.
Warm the cream gently in a small saucepan then add the saffron, rubbing the threads between your finger tips to break them up slightly. Stir the cream into the stew, then add the chunks of cod, crab and clam meat, as well as the butter. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring gently once or twice, until the fish is opaque and the butter is melted. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve hot with plenty of freshly ground pepper and black bread.