Anna Jones The mod­ern cook

The Guardian - Feast - - Feast -

Cele­riac is a bit of a beast to look at, but be­neath that gnarly, knob­bly ex­te­rior lies creamy white flesh with a sweet, nutty flavour. Here, I use it as the base for a stew with the sur­prise hit of some ched­dar-spiked dumplings on top. It’s also the star of this sim­ple soup, topped with a dukkah-style spicy nut sprin­kle, el­e­vat­ing it to some­thing I’d eat any day of the week. You’ll soon be strew­ing it over ev­ery­thing you cook. Prep Cook Serves 20 min 2 hr 6-8 Olive oil

6 small red onions, peeled and quar­tered

1 head gar­lic, cloves peeled and left whole

3 car­rots

2 parsnips

1kg (ap­prox) cele­riac

½ bot­tle red wine 1 litre veg­etable stock

2 bay leaves

A few sprigs rose­mary leaves 1 tbsp harissa Salt

1 x 400g tin white beans (I use hari­cot) Greens and mus­tard, to serve chilled for brush­ing (op­tional) Heat the oven to 150C (130C fan)/ gas 2. Heat a heavy-based casse­role over a medium-high flame and add a good glug of olive oil. Add the onions and gar­lic and cook for five min­utes or so, un­til they be­gin to brown.

Mean­while, peel and chop the veg­eta­bles, mak­ing sure you save a 100g piece of cele­riac for the dumplings. Once the onions are browned, add the veg­eta­bles to the pan and cook for an­other five min­utes, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally.

Pour in the wine, stock, herbs, harissa and a good pinch of salt, cover with a lid, and put in the oven for an hour and 15 min­utes.

Mean­while, make the dumpling mix­ture. Grate the cele­riac and but­ter into a bowl, crum­ble in the ched­dar, add the flour, salt and pep­per, and strip in the leaves of the thyme. Add two ta­ble­spoons of very cold wa­ter, and use your hands to bring the dumpling mix­ture to­gether into a nice dough – if it looks dry, add a few drops more wa­ter. Roll the dumplings into 12 balls.

Once the stew is ready – the veg­eta­bles should be soft and yield­ing, the wine re­duced – stir in the beans. Brush the dumplings with egg yolk, if you like, then put them on top of the stew, leav­ing a lit­tle room in be­tween for them to in­crease in size. Put back in the oven – no lid this time – for an­other 25-30 min­utes, un­til browned on top. Serve with greens and mus­tard.

For the dumplings 100g cele­riac saved from the stew, grated 100g salted but­ter,50g crumbly ched­dar 200g sel­f­rais­ing flour Salt and black pep­per Leaves from a few sprigs of thyme Egg yolk,

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