Making stew or a very saucy pot roast is the easiest thing in the world. You brown a couple pounds of meat with an onion, add enough liquid (wine, stock, crushed tomatoes) and a bay leaf or thyme and garlic if you have them, a few grinds of pepper, and then bake on 325 degrees for a few hours. When the meat is getting tender, after a couple of hours, add salt and a couple of cups of root vegetables. Before serving, skim off the fat that you see pooled on top in the picture.
It’s so easy, I put one together before I left for my conference this weekend. This means this week’s Dark Days eating local challenge is not really something I ate, but I consider my husband a good proxy.
We had some lovely local lamb shanks in the freezer, and some not so lovely, gently wrinkling root vegetables in the crisper from a *mumble* ago. I peeled up the turnip, rutabaga, and parsnip, and added them after the shanks had cooked. The sauce was made from leftover duck fat/lard from my confit making, a cup of local merlot, and homemade local beef stock (also in the freezer), and a cup of my home-canned tomatoes. I added thyme that I had dried last summer and frozen bay leaves from my garden, both because I was too lazy to go outside and pick fresh.
If I had been here, I would have made some local polenta to go with, but my husband just ate it plain in his bachelor quarters. And there are leftovers for tomorrow!