There are a lot of different recipes out there for Polish Hunter’s Stew (also called Bigos). But in the end, it’s always about two things: meat and cabbage. Hunter’s Stew is a hearty dish made from bacon, kielbasa, a pound or more of meat, plus both fresh cabbage and sauerkraut. If you’re a real hunter, the stew meat in Bigos is whatever you’ve hunted. If your “hunting” is done at the meat counter, then buy what you’re in the mood for or what’s on sale. Venison, pork, beef, lamb…they’re all good in Bigos. This can be a clean-out-your-freezer type of meal.
Bone broth has been getting so much buzz, it doesn’t need a lengthy introduction. By now, you probably know that sipping a warm mug of broth is not only soothing, but also a nourishing source of gelatin. So, you keep a supply of bone broth in your refrigerator or freezer*. And you’re sipping mugs of it, and it’s soothing, and nourishing, and all that—but it’s also getting a little boring. Not because you don’t like bone broth. It’s just that you’re craving a little more flavor, a little more pizazz, a little something different than a basic mug of broth. Perhaps broth with the rich flavor of porcini mushrooms? Or the spicy kick of Sichuan peppercorns? How about of mug of broth laced with the exotic flavor of cinnamon, ginger and star anise, or the comforting flavor of butter and leeks?
Cabbage is rarely described as tasting rich, but when simmered long and slow with plenty of butter and olive oil, that’s exactly the outcome. Although buttery, slow-simmered cabbage can be a dish in itself, add broth and sausage and you’ll get a very simple soup with incredibly rich, comforting flavor.
When cooking cabbage this way, high-quality butter and olive oil make a difference in flavor and healthfulness. Use grass-fed butter, if possible. Buy olive oil that’s as local as possible, has real flavor and has been put through the “fridge test.”
In this acorn squash recipe you get a two for one: A delicious edible bowl, plus the generous amounts of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and magnesium that acorn squash provides.
Any type of squash can be a bowl, but the size and shape of acorn squash makes it an especially good choice. Cut the squash in half, lightly coat in oil or butter, then roast until soft. Fill it with soup, stew, chili, or meat sauce. A pile of sautéed greens in a squash bowl isn’t a bad way to go, either.
In this recipe, a spoonful of the roasted squash bowl with a spoonful of the coconut beef curry stew poured inside is like edible autumn. Warm spices, creamy coconut milk, tender beef, sweet squash…this dish has it all. Plus, crunchy, salty squash seeds sprinkled on top if you like.
Time in the Kitchen: 40 minutes, plus 1 hour to roast in the oven
Your next pot of chili doesn’t have to be the same old ground beef chili.
Instead, cook up a pot of ground lamb seasoned with things like turmeric and ginger and a few tablespoons of fiery harissa. The end result is a meal that’s still recognizable as chili but has delicious new flavor.
You know the drill with lamb by now: it’s a nutritionally complete protein packed with all 8 essential amino acids and a whole lot of vitamins and minerals. Lamb can be challenging to cook, but when your butcher grinds it for you and it’s used as the base for chili, there aren’t any worries about overcooking the meat and making it tough. This is an easy and stress-free way to cook lamb.
Harissa is used as the main spice component in this lamb chili. This Middle Eastern condiment gives chili (even beef chili) amazing flavor and adjustable heat. Two tablespoons of harissa adds a slow, robust burn to a pot of chili. Cut back to 1 tablespoon for less heat, or, use the harissa strictly as a condiment. That way, everyone can give their own bowl of chili as much or as little heat as they want.
Rogan Josh is lamb stew with an unusual but memorable name. It’s a meal that fills your house with the comforting aroma of spices and slow cooked meat. Luckily, in this quick and easy (and dairy-free) version of Rogan Josh, “slow” only means an hour, so you won’t be tortured by the mouth-watering aroma for long.
Rogan Josh is a popular Kashmiri dish traditionally made with lamb, yogurt, loads of hot Kashmiri chiles and other spices. This simplified version uses fire-roasted tomatoes and curry powder for heat and flavor. Creamy coconut milk easily takes the place of yogurt, coating the tender lamb in a rich, creamy sauce.