This is the peak time of year for British grown Root crops and this is the perfect way to use them: a hearty and earthy, rich stew - just right for a chilly evening!
I used a combination of swede and celeriac for this dish but any combination of root vegetables would work. Roasting the veg really brings out the flavour and sweetness and then the second phase in the oven produces a rich thick gravy. Highly recommended.
Serves 3 - 4
Preparation time:15 minutes
Cooking time 60 minutes-ish
1kg root vegetables (any combination of swede, celeriac, carrots, parsnips and turnips) peeled and cut into 2-3cm cubes
A tablespoon of Fresh Rosemary roughly chopped
A tbsp Fresh Thyme
3 medium onions, sliced
1 leek, washed and chopped
2 cloves of garlic
250g Vegetable Stock
1 Can of Butter Beans (or other pulse - chick peas or borlottis would be equally good!)
Salt and Pepper to season
Preheat the oven to 180C, Gas Mark 6
Put the cubed root vegetables in a large roasting pan with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, the rosemary and thyme and a good pinch of salt and place them into the oven to roast for approximately 45 mins. The veg should be tender and starting to turn golden. Turn them a couple of times during the roasting.
Meanwhile heat a heavy bottom pan on the hob with more oil and fry the onions and leek over a moderate heat for 20 minutes until they start to caramelise.
When the root veg are ready remove from the oven and stir the onion leek mixture into them
Add the stock and the beans and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes
Remove from the oven when the stock has reduced down to a rich sauce, add a good grating of nutmeg and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
I served this with a portion (about 400g) of steamed kale which I added into the stew for the last few minutes cooking time. Cavolo nero would have a been a lovely addition too. Otherwise serve with a green veg or a green salad on the side and perhaps some crusty bread.
The taste tests are in - so far: 1 person thought Roast Roots and Butter Bean Winter Stew was Yummy 0 thought Yuck. What about you - Yum or Yuck?!