Winter is a good time for.. STEW

This week, Smitten Kitchen posted a delicious looking Chard and White Bean Stew (also their first post of the new year!). Looking at the pictures, two thought came to mind: (1) I want to eat that NOW!!! and (2) How can I make it meaty?

Those two thoughts were both fulfilled with my own try at chard and white bean stew.

I didn’t make very many changes to the recipe posted by Smitten Kitchen.. but I did make some:

  • Fried up about 6 oz of bacon (coarsely chopped). Used about 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings and 2 tablespoons of butter to saute the veggies.
  • Used chicken stock instead of vegetable stock since I couldn’t find veggie stock at the store (seriously? yes.. seriously)
  • Omitted the sherry vinegar, but sprinkled shredded Monterey Jack cheese over the stew. Served with toasted sourdough (didn’t have enough time to poach eggs).

The whole thing turned out DELICIOUS!!! as expected. And it was super easy, granted it did take a bit of time to prepare. I will definitely be making this stew again. And probably making extra to store for a rainy day (if it lasts). With the ingredients listed below, I made enough stew for my family of five.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lb white swiss chard – ribs and stems removed
  • 6 oz bacon, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 celery ribs
  • 3 medium sized carrots
  • 3 large shallots
  • 2 heaping tablespoons minced garlic (from a jar)
  • 1 cup Chardonnay
  • 2 15 oz. cans white beans – drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup pureed tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf (dried or fresh)
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Recipe:

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch swiss chard for just a minute, then remove. Drain of as much liquid as possible. When cool enough to handle, coarsely chop.
  2. While waiting for the water to boil, coarsely chop all your vegetables to about the same size (approximately a dice.. good size for stew).
  3. Dry pot and return to heat. Brown bacon until crispy. Remove to a papertowel-lined plate with a slotted spoon. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease.
  4. Add 2 tablespoon butter to grease and melt. Add carrots, celery, shallots, and garlic. Cook until onion is translucent and vegetables begin to soften (about 10 – 15 minutes).
  5. Once vegetables have cooked, add wine to pot. Stir vegetables, scraping up brown bits from bottom of pan. Simmer until wine has reduced by at least half.
  6. Add remaining ingredients (except cheese) to the pot and stir to combine. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes (go take a shower if someone else is there to watch the pot.. which is what I did).
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove thyme and bay leaf before serving.
  8. Serving in shallow bowls with a generous sprinkling of Monterey Jack cheese and toasted, buttered sourdough.

Can’t wait to make this again. It was SO GOOD!!!

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