Monday, 16 February 2009

Meatball and Butter Bean Stew, with Mash and Creamed Leeks

Another gorgeous, steaming, savoury consoling bowlful of joy! I made this stew much as I always do. Take care to use some good stock. Stir in flour at the beginning when you are frying / sweating the vegetables, this will help it get nice and thick. Let it cook very slowly, for a lonnngggg time. I made my meatballs using a method picked up from my friend Kirsty's mum: add a handful of dry stuffing mix to the mince, and an egg. Mix well with your hands and form walnut-sized balls. Just drop them in before it all goes in the oven. The stuffing mixture seems to season them perfectly without taking over (you would never guess it was there) and also keep them nice and firm so they don't fall apart. Finally I added a tin of butter beans (plus their juice) about an hour from the end.

For the sweet, buttery side-dollop of creamed leeks (something I remember my Nan making, I think) I cooked sliced leeks very gently, not letting them brown, in butter for about half an hour. I then added a spoonful of flour, stirred it in, and gradually added splashes of milk and stirred until I ended up with soft leeks in creamy sauce.

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