Watching Raz Cook: Romanian Country Stew

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I love when Raz and I get to host our people, and with the wedding coming up, we've gotten a lot of opportunities lately. Raz had mentioned that he wanted to make a special "easy, Romanian stew," so when I knew my BFF and wedding HBIC, CWoo, was going to be staying with us for my second dress fitting with Des, I invited my mom over and asked Raz to make his stew. We had all been in Chelan doing some wedding planning, so they definitely deserved a nice, hearty meal (and lots of wine!) for putting up with me.

While I popped bottles and made sure our glasses were filled, Raz went to work in the kitchen. This meal took him what felt like no time at all and gave us plenty of leftovers for lunch. It's one of those recipes that is great even two or three days later - and, trust me, I am not the president of the leftovers fan club.

That night, we all drank Lake Chelan Winery Stormy Mountain White. Since the stew was a little spicy, we probably could have done a light red like a Pinor Noir, but I actually really liked how the sweetness of the white balanced the undercurrent of heat in the stew. Plus, Carol was over, so white it was :).

Behold:
Raz's Romanian Country Stew

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:
• 2 carrots
• 2 celery sticks
• ½ sweet onion
• 4 yellow or Yukon Gold potatoes
• Kielbasa sausage (one rope)
• 8 oz can tomato sauce (can add more if you want it to be saucier)
• 1 can black beans
• ½ TB cayenne pepper
• ½ TB dill
• 3 TB vegetable oil
• 1 cup water
• Fresh parsley to top (optional)

Instructions: 
  1. Chop carrot and celery into bite sized pieces. Dice the onion into small pieces. Slice the Kielbasa into round slices and set aside. Peel and chop the potatoes into medium sized cubes, set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat (skillet should be large enough to hold all ingredients and liquids). Throw all the veggies into the pan and sauté for a couple minutes. Then add the kielbasa and sauté for a few more minutes. Add water and tomato sauce to the pan and stir to blend. Add potato cubes and make sure the potatoes are covered by the liquids. (If liquids do not cover the potatoes, add more water or more tomato sauce or BOTH).
  3. Add the cayenne pepper and dill. Give it one last stir.
  4. Reduce heat to low and cover with lid. Leave covered for about 15-20 minutes while cooking. This will make sure that liquid evaporates slowly and potatoes cook throughout. (If contents are cooking too fast/boiling rapidly, reduce heat a little more.)
  5. While the stew is cooking, open the black beans and rinse them thoroughly and set aside to add at the end.
  6. Make a final inspection of the potatoes (poking them with a fork to make sure they are tender) and make sure the liquids have turned into a sauce. At this time also taste for salt and pepper, add the black beans and mix them into the dish.
  7. Plate the stew (optional: top with parsley) and serve with a pickle or two on the side.

Photo courtesy of Raz's mom (we ate all ours before getting a pic)



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