I have two and a half hours by myself every late morning after Yaseen go to school. It is one of my favourite moments of the day to be secluded from everything else. I have a great space on an old couch that is very warm and comforting. It is also situated on the grand view of my stove. The kitchen door is always open and the stove is always firing. I usually dive in the fuzzy couch with a book to read, laptop to write, and yes, always a frizzy drink on the side. To be fully submerged in an extreme self- indulgence, I usually set my kitchen in an autopilot mode.
And stew seems to be a perfect recipe for this moment. An instant I am free, I carefully pick the ingredients and throw them into the pot. A good stew needs to be simmered in low heat with out interruption, letting the ingredients melt and melt. I need 2 hours to have a whole kilo of brisket super tender, it’s perfect.
I am experimenting on new herb, Marjoram. I have never tried it before. It is in the same family of oregano but more sweet and pungent. To me, it gives a vibrant perfume, something that reminds me of fresh rain. As I chop fresh marjoram, its scent tells me it’s going to be magical.
There are also wild apple left in my kitchen. The raw sweetness and acrid sourness in them give a shocking surprise to the palate. There are from forest hill in the Himalayas, very beautiful and rustic. I chopped a few into the stew as well.
As I lose myself in the world of imagination, flipping to the next chapter of “Skies of Pern” I feel aroma from the kitchen rolls over me. There’s no need to taste, I know it’s perfect.
Beef Stew with Marjoram and Wild Apple
Ingredients: (8 Servings)
1 kg brisket- slice into bite size
2 onions- diced
3 cloves garlic- diced
2 tomatoes- diced
2-3 apple- peeled and sliced
2 stalk celery- chopped
3-4 sprigs of fresh marjoram- chopped
1 1/2 cup tomato puree
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup water
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Heat oil in a large pot and brown the brisket evenly. Remove the beef from the oil and keep aside.
- In the same oil, sauté onion until translucent. Add garlic, chopped marjoram and celery. Stir fry for 2 minutes.
- Add tomato and cook further until tomato become soft.
- Add browned brisket, apple, tomato puree, and water. Season with salt and pepper. Increase the heat and let it come to the full boil for 1 minute. Cover and simmer on low heat for 2 hours or until the meat become very tender.
- Check the seasoning and serve hot.
By the time the stew was ready, Yaseen was back home. He checked the stove for lunch and found this delicious stew. As I ladled the melt-y mass into the plate, he couldn’t wait to scoop it up with buttery bun. Marjoram and wild apple had done the magic. It was earthy, fresh and sweet. The brisket mellowed into the delicious thickness of the sauce. A kilo of beef is equal to 8 servings in our household. Usually the meal like this could go for a few days, but already Yaseen and I had done the damage. Half of the pot was gone. Our stomach was so full but I wondered when we’re going to stop eating it.