When the frost touches down on the ground it can be difficult to imagine anything surviving, let alone growing. Nevertheless, we are greeted with the most delicious stews and roast dinners at this time of year.
Of course, most of us don’t have the likes of Delia Smith or Jamie Oliver to hand when we need advice on which vegetables are best at this time of year, or which fruit is in its prime. So, here at Allens Caravans we thought we’d give you the next best thing.
This season offers some of the finest fruits and vegetables, with rich flavours and plump textures; all perfect for those slow cooked stews and homemade crumbles with cream trickled over the top.
If you live in one of Allens residential park homes, you will know how easy it is to find fresh and organic produce on your rural doorstep, all year round. October in particular sees the best crop for sweetcorn, runner beans, spinach and carrots, as well as white, red and Savoy cabbage. On the sweet side, cox apples and blackberries are at their juiciest!
So now you know what is ripe for picking, it’s time to get the kitchen prepped ready for the chopping, dicing, slicing and peeling of all that natural goodness. Why not take this opportunity to treat yourself to some new bits for the kitchen? You will need sharp knives to get through all that veg and a good chopping board to prep everything on; stock up on the essentials. Also, consider some sturdy Tupperware to pop any excess in; that way, your dishes can be easily frozen and warmed up next time you fancy something without the fuss of cooking.
Once you have everything ready, it is time to get to work and start reminding yourself of those classic winter dishes that seem to have come back round all too quickly. Consider getting some friends over to join in the experience and get your heads together to compare recipes that have been passed down through the generations.
You can even start refining your mince pies and their decorations now, so you have them perfected come December. And we can’t imagine anyone complaining about a hearty beef stew at this time of the year! Click here for more caravan holiday information!
So with this in mind, here are some top tips for the best stew.
Build a flavor foundation by browning meat and aromatic ingredients. This step leaves tasty browned bits in the bottom of the pan which add complexity to the stew. (Always have some crusty fresh bread to mop up the pan too).
Thicken. Thicken. Thicken.
Actually, please don’t. Beef stew doesn’t need to be super, super thick. You’ll most likely be using potatoes, and their starch will naturally thicken your stew. It’s not a gravy; you shouldn’t be adding a roux or flour or cornstarch. If you do prefer your stew on the thicker side though, you can toss your beef in flour or cornstarch before you sear it - the bits left behind will thicken your stew and add a deeper flavour.
The cows are not coming home. Stop.
Yes, it is possible to overcook a beef stew. As much as we like the idea of a stew that sits on the stove all day long, too much time on the hob will result in dry beef and mushy veggies. It depends on how much stew you’re actually making, but the sweet spot is about 2-3 hours.
So go on, make a start – we know you want to! For more information on things to do during your Christmas caravan holiday view our website today!