Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Wax-bean stew - stew what yer mamma gave you!

With an abundance of produce lately (and an abundance of bacon ... I know, I know, it's a hardship) the ShortStacks have been tinkering with some 'summer stew' recipes.  This one, is by far our most fav ... quite likely because we threw in some leftover roasted chicken at the last minute.  And really, who doesn't love an opportunity to use up leftovers? 

As the weather finally begins to turn a bit cooler, it seems like we're almost ready to start thinking about cooler temps, shorter days ... red wine and fireplaces.  All you non-skiers are currently cursing us aren't you?

Grab yourself a cutting board, a sharp knife, a dutch oven and a whole lotta wax beans ... ready, set ... STEW! 

  • 6 x slices of GOOD bacon, diced - we're not talking Maple Leaf crap - like real, honest to god bacon (We will, however, look away if all you can find is the stuff from the hot-dog section of the grocery store ... just be aware and don't add TOO much extra salt during the 'seasoning' stage.)
  • 1 x spring onion or Spanish onion ... dice it up
  • 4 x garlic cloves diced - again, try to use fresh local garlic - help a farmer, fight a vampire, it's a win-win situation
  • 1tsp crushed red pepper flakes (less if you don't like heat, more if you do!)
  • 2-3 cups of halved green beans (chop off the top of the bean, the part that would attach it to the plant stem, but leave on the bottom part ... less chopping = eating sooner)
  • 2-3 cups of halved yellow beans (as above)
  • 3 cups of diced tomatoes - we used some gorgeous almost overripe beefsteak tomatoes, but you can use any you've got on hand, and in a pinch a 28oz can of your fav. tomatoes would work to.
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups of chicken stock (more or less depending on how JUICY your tomatoes are, use your judgement, this is YOUR STEW afterall!)
  • 1x spring of rosemary - 'leaves' removed from stem and chopped finely
  • 2tsp flour (we used brown rice flour but whatever you've got will be fine)
  • 1/4tsp ground coriander
  • Couple of dashes of worchestire sauce
  • Leftover roasted chicken - we tore up the breast meat, but use whatever you've got - remember, this is leftovers ... beggars can't be choosers!
  • Salt n pepper to taste (we seasoned at the very end once the stew had 'stewed' for the duration)
  • Parmigiano reggiano cheese - shave as much or as little as you'd like over the stew before serving.

What to do:
  1. Heat your dutch oven on the stove over medium heat - once the pan is warm, drop in your bacon - cook 'til it's crispy - once it is, remove it from pan and set aside.
  2. LEAVE THE DRIPPINGS IN THE DUTCH OVEN... sorry for yelling, but this is VIP
  3. Add to the dutch oven the diced onions, saute 'til they are almost caramalized, then add in the garlic and the red pepper flakes - stir 'em all around until the garlic has softened.
  4. Then throw in the green and yellow beans and stir them all around for about 5 minutes or so.
  5. Add in your fresh or canned tomatoes, again stirring 'til everything is good and combined.
  6. Add chicken stock, rosemary, coriander and worchestire.  Stir.
  7. In a tiny bowl, place your flour and a small splash of water mix 'til your flour is a loose paste, then stir THAT into the dutch oven.
  8. Bring to a boil.  Then drop the heat and let simmer for about 45 minutes - check on your beans - you want them cooked, but not mushy.  No, never mushy.  Start checking them around the 30 minute mark.
  9. Check the salt level and add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Once your stew looks ready, toss in your roasted chicken, stir around and let sit 'til the chicken is hot (couple of minutes should do the trick)
  11. Then JUST before serving, stir the bacon BACK into the stew ... hopefully you haven't nibbled TOO MUCH on the bacon as it sat waiting to be asked back to the party ...
  12. Grab yourself some bowls - this recipe makes about 4 servings ... you'll need a baguette for dunking, and a green salad ... for ... salad'ing ... ???
  13. Ladle the stew into the bowls, and then grab the parm - grating over the top of each bowl enough cheese to lightly blanket the stew ... think of the first snowfall ... yes, yes, think of that!
  14. Pour yourself a glass of wine, pat yourself on the back, and dream of snowy mountains.
Happy stewing!!!


  1. Mr. Schmorge S. Borg28 August 2012 at 13:20

    Mmm... looks and tastes [in my mind] delicious! But you made an error. Surely you were joking about an "abundance of bacon"... surely you must know there is no such thing... ;)

    1. Hmmm ... you make a good point.
      Would you accept a "wealth of bacon"? :)