Venison stew, anchovy-garlic cabbage, and butter-fried sweet potato

Venison stew with celeriac and parsnips, split and butter fried baked sweet potatoes, and anchovy garlic cabbage

Venison stew with celeriac and parsnips, split and butter fried baked sweet potatoes, and anchovy garlic cabbage

The last batch of beef stock that I made turned out super gelatinous (this is a good thing) and I’ve been using a quart of it, a few spoonfuls at a time, to braise this and that. There’s some in the venison stew, some in the cabbage. Kevin mentioned this flavor profile to me a few days ago: cabbage with anchovy. Oh, hell yes. And garlic? Indeed. These are a few of my favorite things. Even the cabbage. It’s such an easy vegetable to overlook: it’s cheap and abundant. It’s also nutritious and versatile. I can flavor it with mustard oil, tomato, and cumin, or bacon, onion, and thyme, or like this, with anchovies, garlic, and a few red pepper flakes, and it’s delicious.

These are some sweet potatoes I baked last fall, skinned, and froze. I thawed them, then split them and browned them gently in butter.

The venison stew is as simple as can be, with some parsnip, onion, and celeriac that are all from the winter share. A little wine to deglaze after browning the meat and softening the vegetables, and some more of that thick beef stock.

Venison stew

Venison stew

Venison stew

I forgot to take a picture of my dinner plate, so here’s the leftover stew. I made this super basic: just an onion, a one-ounce cube of garlic scape pesto, salt, pepper, a little lard, and a little sunflower oil, plus two pounds of venison round. I browned everything in the Dutch oven, deglazed with water, then put it in a 300 degree oven for the rest of the afternoon, until the meat was tender. We ate the stew over the last of the bowtie pasta, with some green beans, also leftovers.

Venison stew in the style of kibbeh filling

Venison stew, braised cabbage, and baked sweet potato

Venison stew, braised cabbage, and baked sweet potato

At top is a stew that is a version of the filling from a kibbeh-in-the-tray recipe Claudia Roden includes in her New Book of Middle Eastern Food. Mine is made with venison instead of lamb, and there is no bulghur in the house, so kibbeh did not happen in any form. But the seasonings are allspice and cinnamon (1/2 tsp and 1 tsp, respectively, to about a pound of meat), and I stewed the meat with onion, currants, and pistachios. The cabbage is braised with onion, olive oil, and butter, and came from the freezer. The buttered sweet potato is also left over from a few days ago, that I warmed up with the cabbage to go with the stew.