Languedoc Beef Stew with Red Wine, Herbs, and Olives


2-1/4 lb thickly sliced braising or stewing beef
2 tablespoons flour
5-6 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1-1/4 cups Faugeres or other full-bodied fruity red wine
1/2 cup homemade or organic beef broth
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
1 thin strip of unwaxed orange zest
2 bay leaves
1/3 cup black olives
3 heaped tablespoons roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Slow-roasted Carrots

1 lb carrots
a pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Trim any excess fat from the beef, then cut the meat into large cubes. Put the flour in a shallow dish and season it with salt and pepper. Dip the cubes of beef in the flour to coat.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet, add the beef, and saute on all sides until the meat is browned — you will need to do this in batches, adding extra oil as you go. Transfer the beef to a cast-iron casserole.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet, add the onion, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until softened but not browned.
  4. Add the garlic and tomato puree and cook for 1 minute, stirring.
  5. Add 1 cup of the wine, the broth, herbes de Provence, orange zest, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then pour the sauce into the casserole.
  6. Heat the casserole over medium heat and bring the sauce back to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer very gently for 2-1/2 to 3 hours until the meat is completely tender. Check the contents of the casserole occasionally to ensure there is enough liquid (add a little extra broth or water if it’s dry).
  7. About two-thirds of the way through the cooking time, prepare the slow-roasted carrots. Cut the carrots into long, thick diagonal slices. Put the carrots, salt, and cayenne pepper in a large, shallow ovenproof dish, pour the oil over, and toss well. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 45 to 60 minutes until the carrots are soft and their edges are caramelized.
  8. About 30 minutes before the stew should be ready, stir in the olives. Just before serving, season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in the parsley and the remaining wine, and cook for a further 5 minutes. Serve with the slow-roasted carrots.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: Cooking with Wine

Chinese-style Stewed Pork Belly with Hard-boiled Eggs


300 g pork belly
5-6 eggs
2 ginger slices
1 stalk spring onion, cut into sections


1 tsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
1-1/2 cups water
red chillies to taste


  1. Rinse pork belly. Put into a pot together with the eggs. Pour in water to cover all the ingredients. Cook until the pork belly is done. Drain and soak them in cold water for a while.
  2. Cut pork belly into pieces. Remove shell of eggs and set aside.
  3. Heat about 1/2 tbsp of oil in a wok. Stir-fry ginger and spring onion until fragrant. Add pork belly and sprinkle wine. Stir-fry well. Transfer to a pot.
  4. Add seasoning ingredients, hard-boiled eggs and red chillies. Simmer until the pork and eggs pick up the taste and the sauce thickens. Serve hot.

Source: Simple Treats

Sardinian Fish Stew


1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 onions, sliced
2 green bell peppers (capsicums), sliced
4 cloves garlic, 3 finely chopped, 1 whole
1 (14-ounce) can tomatoes, with juice
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 pounds mixed firm white fish fillets or steaks, such John Dory, sea bass, flounder, cod, ling, monkfish, grouper, tilapia
salt and fresh, ground black pepper
4 tablespoons mixed chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, marjoram, dill, oregano
6 slices firm Italin-style bread, toasted


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, and chopped garlic and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes and wine, bring to a boil, then simmer until the mixture reduces a little, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the firmer seafood and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the more delicate fish and enough water to cover and simmer until the fish flakes easily when tested with the tip of a sharp knife, about 5 minutes.
    Stir in the fresh herbs, reserving a little for the garnish.

  5. Rub the toast with the remaining whole clove of garlic and place a slice in each soup bowl.
  6. Ladle the soup over the top, garnish with the reserved herbs, and serve hot.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Modern Mediterranean Cooking

Chinese-style Stewed Duck with Bitter Melon


1/2 duck
1 lb bitter melon
few slices ginger
1/2 tbsp mashed garlic
1 tbsp soy bean paste (mix with 1 tbsp water)
1/4 dried tangerine peel (soaked and shredded)
10 pieces basil ( shredded)


1/2 tbsp wine
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp oil


1/8 sesame oil
pinch of pepper
1 tbsp light soy
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
3/4 cup water


3/4 cornstarch
2 tbsp water
1 tsp dark soy


  1. Remove seeds of bitter melon, cut into rectangular pieces.
  2. Wash, wipe dry and chop up duck. Mix with marinade and set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. Blanch duck in boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove and drain. Set aside.
  4. Saute ginger with 3 tbsp oil. Add bitter lemon, stir fry thoroughly and remove from wok.
  5. Saute duck with 1 tbsp oil. Add garlic, soy bean paste and basil. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp wine.
  6. Add seasoning ingredients and tangerine peel. Bring to a boil. Cook over low heat for 30 minutes.
  7. Put in bitter melon, Cook for another 15 minutes.
  8. Add sauce ingredients and cook until the sauce thickens. Remove to serving dish and serve hot.

Source: Chinese Stews

Andalusian-style Spinach & Chickpeas


2 cans chickpeas
40 ml olive oil (for cooking)
6 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
1600 g spinach
3 Tbsp sweet Spanish paprika
2 Tbsp freshly ground dry-roasted cumin seeds
4 thick slices of day-old bread
extra-virgin olive oil and crusty bread to serve


  1. Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the bread, and cook until golden. Transfer the bread and garlic to paper towels.
  3. Once cooled, tear the bread into small pieces and remove the skins from the garlic. Pound the bread with a pestle and mortar (or, just a rolling pin in a bowl if easier!), until the breadcrumbs are large but uneven.
  4. Add about 50 grams of the chickpeas and around 60 ml of the leftover liquid from the tin. Pound again until it’s the consistency of mashed potato.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the remaining chickpeas and chopped garlic, stirring until lightly golden, then add in the spinach and stir until wilted.
  6. Turn up the heat and add 400 ml of water. Stir occasionally and crush a few of the chickpeas into the spinach until fully heated through.
  7. Reduce the heat and simmer slowly until thick and creamy, then stir in a splash of sherry vinegar to cut through the creaminess.
  8. Drizzle with oil and serve with bread.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Vegan Food and Living