Tuesday, 13 July 2010

A Little Bit of Comfort

It has been so very cold the past few days, I haven't felt sensation in my feet all week because they are frozen solid. I realize that the sisters in the North will laugh when I say 10°C (50° Fahrenheit ) is cold, but here in Cape Town anything under 20° (68°f) we class as freezing!

In all the years of school when we were forced to learn poetry, which I did begrudgingly, I have only kept one verse of one poem in my memory bank. I don't know if it's the whole poem or who wrote it, so I can't give any credit but it goes like this :

The wind is howling with all it's might
I am glad I'm in bed and tucked up tight,
It's just the sort of night for witches to be out,
Riding on their broomsticks round and about.

I always say this verse to myself whenever the weather turns bad, it's like a security blanket against the weather. As I have grown older (and wiser) I have found another forms of comfort too. Hot chocolate and a good book is still one of my favourites or a pot of bean soup and freshly baked bread never fails to warm my heart and tummy. 

I love to make meals that require little or no attention so I can stay under the blanket and read my book, watch the Tour de France or  Tri-Nations Rugby. This Lamb Neck and Green Bean Bredie (Stew) is just the thing for a cold day and meets all my requirements for lazy cooking with maximum pleasure at service.

Lamb Neck and Green Bean Bredie 
500g -750g Lamb Neck cut into slices
1 Large Onion Sliced
1 Cup Baby Carrots (or big ones cut small)
750ml Lamb Stock ( I love the Nomu Fond Range)
20ml Nomu Tomato Chilli Stir (or you can use regular tomato paste and 2 cloves of garlic crushed)
10ml Sugar
20ml Fresh Thyme leaves
300g Green Beans cut and trimmed
4 Potatoes, peeled and cut in half
Salt and Pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
On the hob, fry the meat and the onions until browned.
 Add the rest of the ingredients, except the stock, the potatoes and the green beans and stir to combine.
Add enough stock to cover the meat.
Bring the pot back to heat and then transfer to the oven for about 1½ hours, until the meat is tender.
Add the potatoes and cook for a further 40 minutes (until they are soft).
Add the green beans and cook for a further 20 minutes (they should be soft, but not mushy).
Check the seasoning and adjust to taste.
Serve with rice and or bread.


Nina Timm said...

Ok, I'll be over in a flash...this is true comfort food!!!! Love the Nomu Chili addition!!

Cindy said...

Please can I have some RIGHT now???

Marisa said...

After the last few freezing days, I think we can all do with a generous helping of this!

Kit said...

It's chilly alright, even by northern standards... there was hard frost on the ground this morning... and don't forget that most people have central heating in northern Europe, so the cold isn't quite so penetrating! I don't remember huddling under several blankets inside on the sofa when we lived in London. Mind you I much prefer living without central heating, it really dries you out!
I'd go for central heating of the bredie sort anyday!

Rose&Thorn said...

Nina - I am never without Nomu Chilli. I even take it hiking with us - it makes the best pasta sauce without having to carry any fresh ingredients.
Cindy - sure, but the leftover are long gone - my son finished it off quick!
Marisa - You are so right, we need some warm comfort food now.
Kit - You are not the first ex-Northerner to say this. A good friend who lived in Chicago said, while the temperatures might be lower there, they are much better equipped to deal with it. She was colder in Cape Town than she ever was there. I would not like to live with central heating - I'll keep my blankets and hot water bottle close rather.

Jeanne @ CookSister! said...

I also suffer from permanently cold feet so I sympathise! I loved poetry at school, as I do now, and the poem I always remember when the weather is bad is the opening lines form The Highwayman:
"The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas"

Such evocative words and such a perfect description of a stormy night!

Jeremiah 17: 7-8

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water."

It is not your business to succeed, but to do what is right : when you have done so, the rest lies with God.
C.S. Lewis

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