Fall Harvest Winter Stew
The ingredients are based on what I have in a root cellar. Vegetables like potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic. I typically add elk meat, but you could use any kind of red meat. It is really warming and hearty and filling which I think is really important in the winter cold months.
–Kelsey Juve, Enterprise
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound stew meat, cut into 1-inch chunks
4 tablespoons ground cumin
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
4 medium potatoes, diced
2 cups beef, chicken or vegetable broth
1 head garlic, roughly chopped
6 carrots, chopped
1 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup red wine
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup flour
Chopped cilantro for garnish, optional
In a cast iron skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add meat, season with the cumin, salt and pepper and cook until browned.
While meat is browning, heat the remaining olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, pepper and potatoes, season with salt and pepper and sauté until the onions turn translucent. Add the browned meat, ½ cup of the broth, garlic, carrots and corn. Cover and simmer over low heat.
Meanwhile, add the red wine to the cast iron skillet and cook over low heat, scraping up the browned bits with a wooden spoon. Add the butter, milk and flour and stir well to make a roux paste.
Uncover the Dutch oven and stir in the roux and remaining broth. Bring the pot to a gentle boil for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and taste for seasoning before serving with cilantro, if desired.
Do you have any special memories associated with this stew?
My dad hunted a lot when I was growing up, so we always had game meat in the freezer and my mom would make a lot of stews. It was something that could just simmer on the stove top while she was at work. I actually created this stew as a quick meal when I was in college. I just needed something really quick between classes or lectures and then, of course, it kept really well and so I could continue to eat on it.
What is your favorite thing about preparing a home-cooked meal?
I grew up with both of my parents cooking meals—I mean breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day was always home-cooked. I didn't realize that wasn't a normal thing until I went to college.
I just started cooking basic things and it came really naturally to me, and then I began cooking large meals for friends. I found I really loved preparing nourishing good food from the land that's so good for you and sharing that with friends. I just loved bringing folks together around the table and sharing that experience. I love it. I love flavor pairing. I love all of that.
What are some of your favorite things to do with food?
I cook pretty simply. I think that you can create really beautiful dishes with just simple salt and pepper seasoning, letting the ingredients that you use speak for themselves. I’m also a huge baker. I love baking but mostly I just like sharing it. I like sharing what I make with people. I like feeding people. I like making sure that they're taken care of and it's how express my love.
Editor’s note: This interview has been edited and shortened. Slow Food Wallowas is one of 150 chapters in the US devoted to local food. If you have a special recipe featuring local food, contact Slow Food Wallowas, email@example.com. Your recipe may appear in a future column!