Monday, January 16, 2012

Life This Week: January 16, 1939

The Movie of the Week this week is Gunga Din, which is pretty darn entertaining. Paul even liked it. I don't even want to go into the pitfalls or politically incorrect nature of colonialism or orientalism or any of that. Just accept this for what it is and enjoy it. Cary Grant and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., are charming, Joan Fontaine is beautiful and the Thugee villains are suitably evil. The plot and setting of the final part of the film will probably seem familiar because Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is totally a rip-off of Gunga Din. We liked Gunga Din better, though. Keep this one in mind for family movie nights.
Images from Doctor Macro

Since Gunga Din is so British and there's a Guinness ad in this issue, I knew I needed to try out a recipe I'd bookmarked for a beef and stout stew. Even if you don't like Guinness to drink (I don't), it works perfectly in this recipe. This dish is orgasmically delicious, easy to make and has loads of vegetables. I can't think of a better culinary accompaniment to winter weather and a classic action-adventure movie.

Beef and Carrot Stew with Parsnip and Potato Mash

For the stew:
2 tablespoons expeller-pressed grapeseed oil
1 lb grass-finished stewing beef, cut into large chunks
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 lbs carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 tablespoons sprouted whole wheat flour
1 (1 pint, 6 oz.) bottle or 2 3/4 cups stout
1 tablespoon rapadura or muscovado sugar
3 bay leaves
3 sprigs thyme leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

For the mash:
2 lbs potatoes
3 parsnips
1 tablespoon butter
sea salt
1/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature

For the stew:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heat the grapeseed oil over high heat in a large, oven-safe dutch oven (like a Le Creuset). When the oil is very hot, add the beef, in batches, and sear. Remove to a plate.

Sauté the onion and carrots, turning down heat, if needed, to keep onion from burning. When onion is translucent, add the beef (and accumulated juices) back to the dutch oven and add the flour and stir to combine. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring.

Add the remaining stew ingredients and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover with a lid and place in the middle of the oven to cook for 2 1/2 hours.

For the mash:
Fill a stockpot halfway to 3/4 full with water.

Peel, wash and chop the potatoes and parsnips and place in the stockpot with some salt. Bring to a boil and boil 15 minutes, or until very tender.

Drain vegetables and mash with the butter and salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the sour cream.

Serves 4

Stew can be refrigerated or frozen and thawed then reheated (for about an hour) at 300 degrees. Mash can be reheated in a double boiler.

Adapted from "Beef and stout stew with carrots" at BBC Good Food.

Submitted to Monday Mania, Fat Tuesday, Whole Food Wednesdays, Fight Back Friday, Sunday Night Soup Night


  1. This looks tasty, haven't seen the film! x

  2. I've never heard of this movie, but it sounds entertaining, if politically "un"correct, hehe. This stew looks good! I think I'll make some stew tomorrow when things turn cold. Have you had snow up your way yet? It was 70 here today!~

    1. We had snow last week, but we've had nice weather (in the 50s) the last few days. Hard to believe it's January!

  3. Oh a vintage film I might just be able to get my beau to watch and something containing Guinness I just might be able to get him to consume.....WONDERFUL!
    I'm such big fan of stout, the darker the beer, the better.

  4. Hi, Thanks for stopping by beyondtheppel and introducing yourself. It's always great to meet another blogger is share what we're up to. Very fun movie choice. I've never seen it but i'll be putting it on the list.

  5. ooh this looks like pure cold weather comfort food. Yum!

  6. I love the look of that recipe, so perfect for a cold winter night. And after dinner, a vintage film. A perfect night!

  7. I think my hubby and I would both enjoy Gunga Din, too...I'm almost certain he's watched it :) And after the cold front goes through today, it will be back to stew weather...yours looks wonderful!

  8. Gunga Din is a film I LOVE! LOVE Guinness too and that stew recipe too!
    My blog has moved by the way...from blogger to Wordpress here:

  9. This beef stew sounds so appealing, especially this week as we get more snow. Perfect comfort food by the fire!

  10. Hey there! Just getting caught up on your blog. You do amazing work. Hope Paul's Gma is OK. We've been having a bit of a dog emergency at our house, plus piles upon piles of sis's wedding preparation (including that 50s themed retro bridal shower)! I'll be sampling a few of your recipes hopefully next week. Will let you know how it goes!

  11. I adore a hearty stew in winter - and this one looks so rich and satisfying. I have always wondered about Gunga Din - they refer to it in the theme song for Wacky Races!

  12. I'm going to have to make this - adding Guiness sounds so intriguing, in a good way! Thanks for sharing this with Sunday Night Soup Night, look forward to seeing you again soon!


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