A stew night

Welcome reader!
Since the idea behind this blog was that I would write about the unpretentious simple food I make at home for my family, food which has been inspired by the meals my parents taught me to make, it’s very appropriate that it begins with a Northern Irish Stew.

The title of the blog, by the way, is because both baps and buns are different things in Northern Ireland than they are in England, which is where I now live and work. A bap is usually floury and is used for ham, or burgers, or dipping in soup – what English people call a bun. And a bun is a cake. Simple!

I drove home from work today on a cold, rainy night and just wanted a bowl of something simple, hearty and warming. And so I quickly put together a big pot of stew in the way that my parents taught me.

A bowl of stew with oaten roll on the side

The humble bowl of stew. It’s not the looks that count

Just fill a large pot with whatever chopped veg you fancy – sweet potatoes, carrots, potatoes, parnips – fill the pan with cold water to the top of what’s in there, add a crumbled stock cube, a dash of Worcester sauce, bring to the boil and simmer for an hour or so. Add meatballs after 30 mins if you fancy, or add a few dumplings with 20 minutes to go. Thicken to your taste by mashing down the potatoes a bit more and season. Yum!

I always like to accompany stew with some bread to wipe the plate with and today I had one of Nigella Lawson’s Oaten Rolls from Kitchen left over from St Patrick’s Day lunch. It fit the bill perfectly.

Stew – maybe not gorgeous to look at but it’s a beautiful taste of home for me.

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