Friday, October 15, 2010

Harvest Stew

Fall is definitely upon us here in the Pacific Northwest. The days are getting shorter, the air is crisper, the leaves are beginning to change and are lingering on lawns rather than the woodsy arms they usually occupy, and soups, stews and comfort food are on my mind. Tonight I needed something warm, tasty and good for me, and I found it in Alton Brown's recipe for Harvest Stew. I made a change here or there, but the main recipe remains the same. Best of all, it was finally time to road-test my new Lodge enameled cast iron pan and guess what??? She worked like a dream! How have I survived this long without one??? I can't wait to make Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon!! But that's for another day. Today was Harvest Stew.

Harvest Stew
1 lb. fully cooked kielbasa, thinly sliced on an angle (I used turkey kielbasa)
Vegetable oil
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cartons (32 oz. each) chicken broth
1 lb. dried red kidney beans, soaked at least 4 hours or up to overnight, drained (I don't care for kidney beans and didn't have any dry beans, so I used a can of cannellini beans and a can of pinto beans)
1 lb. red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
6 oz. kale, tough stems discarded, torn into 1-in. pieces
1/4 cup red wine vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)
Black pepper

1. In 7-quart dutch oven (mine is 6 qt) or heavy stockpot, cook kielbasa on medium 15 minutes or until browned on both sides, stirring occasionally; transfer to plate and set aside.
2. Add enough oil to pot to equal 2 tsp. total fat. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes or until golden, stirring constantly. (This will burn on you - so watch it like a hawk!!)
3. Add broth and beans; heat to boiling on high. Reduce heat to medium; cover and simmer 45 minutes. (Because my beans were from a can, I only cooked them for 10 minutes here.)
4. Add potatoes; cover and cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Stir in kale; cover and cook 10 more minutes.
6. Stir in vinegar and pepper. Put the kielbasa back in and cook until heated through.

This was just what I needed on a cool Friday night. Warmed me right up and it will for you, too!!


  1. We love this stew. I usually take the short-cut also and use canned beans. It's great for fridgid nights in northwestern Wisconsin.

  2. I'm so glad this stew/soup works for you! We love it up here in WA too, especially during the winter!