Note – Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution series starts tonight 8-10 EST. You can be sure that I’ll be lining up all my ducklings to watch this with me. Based on what I saw on last Sunday’s sneak-peek, this should be mandatory viewing for anyone who has children.
Jamie’s message is all well and good but I wanted to try some of his recipes out and see if my tribe of kids would find them palatable. After all, if the kids won’t eat it, then its useless in the fight to make them eat better.
This weekend we made the Beef and ale stew from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Cookbook (page 180). It was a lovely cool day up here in New Hampshire – perfect stew weather. Although the recipe took 3 hours to cook, much like the curry, once you combine all the ingredients, you just let it simmer and stir it whenever you walk by the kitchen. Easy enough and it gave the house a wonderful Sunday dinner aroma.
I had a few trepidations when looking at Jamie’s recipe. The last time I was in Ireland, I ordered the House Guinness Beef Stew (I figured when in Rome – right?). It was, without exception, one of the worst meals I have ever had. The broth was watery and the meat was TMJ headache inducing tough.
This wasn’t the case with Jamie’s stew. Not to be completely pre-pubescent on you but “oh my gawd!” The meat was tender like butter and the broth? Thick, flavorful and best eaten sopped up with a good supply of crusty bread.
Because I had to feed 7 people I doubled the recipe (2 pounds of stew meat) and two bottles of Guinness beer (didn’t measure the beer, just poured it in). All day, it smelled nice and hoppy in our house. The end product however, didn’t taste at all like beer (something my kids who have been through the school DARE program were concerned about).
Overall, the meal was well received and got high marks from everyone and again even the pickiest eater cleaned his bowl. Two of my hungry sons ate the stew like bears and the rest of us went on and on about how this was yet another recipe that was a keeper.
The only problem with the whole affair? My cookbook fell off the counter while I turned to get something out of the fridge. It’s a heavy book and wasn’t meant to survive a 4 foot fall. The spine broke and tore away from the book, a corner is dented. For a book lover such as I, this is nothing short of heartbreak. But at 35 dollars a copy, I’ll have to do with a duck taped version of Food Revolution.
Hey, it will still get the job done and based on experience so far, it will still get it done amazingly well.