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Thread: Peasant food

  1. #1
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    Default Peasant food

    Hearty stews, cheap and easy one-pot winter warmers and the like. No poncey stuff.

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    I'll share my puchero recipe tomorrow when i've got time. Totally basic but maybe the most satisfying food I've ever eaten.

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    Does risotto count, as long as there's nowt poncy in it? I've eated smoked mackerel risotto three times in about the last week, it's sooo good. Just needs cream, lemon juice and very coarse black pepper to serve - plus Lee & Perrins if, like me, you have no regard for any concept of authenticity.

    Smoked mackerel is lush and very good value.

    Edit: yes, of course you need parmesan, but recently I've found Lincolnshire Poacher to be, if anything, even better. It's like a cross between parmesan and a really hard, super-mature cheddar.
    Last edited by Mr. Tea; 25-09-2013 at 02:30 PM.
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    Isn't it. Soy and honey smoked mackerel is damn good too, and no more expensive than the standard stuff as far as I remember. Japanese peasant food back in the day?

    I think risotto definitely counts - it's quintessential food for when you're hard up (even if you have to buy your parmesan). Lemon and parmesan = best combination ever

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    Bigos (or however you spell it) - Polish sausages (along with a second kind of meat of choice), sauerkraut, juniper berries, tomato paste, msuhrooms, fuck knows what else cos it's years since I've made it. Can be heavenly.

    Pasta topped with white cabbage sauteed in lots of olive oil and paprika. Shouldn't be as good as it is with those few ingredients

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    Here's my submission - Lamb soup/stew with preserved lemons

    I sometimes make this and it does 10 portions! Freezes well and it's so chunky I just have a bowl for lunch without any bread. It's also a great mix of meat, veg, and carbs.

    1 scrag (whole neck) cut into pieces (Turkish butchers good for this - about 6)
    carrots, potatoes, mooli (white radish)
    some dried lentils and beans of your choice, or a couple of cans
    some preserved lemons (make you own - super easy) 1.5
    some greens - get whatever is cheap, such as huge bunch of spinach from market
    3 lentils
    1 head of garlic

    -put the lamb in water and bring to boil, simmer for 2 mins
    -throw the water and scum away and then put neck in big pan in lots of water
    -add some dried spices (black pepper, bay leaf, couple dried chillies, coriander seed)
    -simmer for 3 hours - along the way add you dried lentils/beans, root veg, chopped small, onions, garlic allowing as long as you think they need
    -when the meat is tender pull it off the bones and discard, add greens, add chopped preserved lemons, cook for 5 mins
    - correct seasoning

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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny B View Post
    Hearty stews, cheap and easy one-pot winter warmers and the like. No poncey stuff.
    "Hearty unpretentious peasant food" is waaay up there on the bourgeois food one-upmanship scale, though, isn't it? About the only thing that beats it is stuff that can be described as "street food". It's when not-poncey wraps around and becomes poncey again.

    In any case, good food is good food regardless of who likes it, so keep going.

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    Someone mentioned mujaddara in another thread, but I think that pretty much wins on cheap-but-filling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slothrop View Post
    "Hearty unpretentious peasant food" is waaay up there on the bourgeois food one-upmanship scale, though, isn't it? About the only thing that beats it is stuff that can be described as "street food". It's when not-poncey wraps around and becomes poncey again.

    In any case, good food is good food regardless of who likes it, so keep going.
    yeah you're right, its not really like that here in seville where I live though. Really simple, traditional & tasty stews are absolutely part of the daily diet, its really not a pretentious thing at all - most of the andalucians I've lived with live off this stuff and foreign food is really not on the menu (whether cooking at home or eating out). An aside point, I've also found Its far better to get recipes from local people - cook books/recipes off the net nearly always get these sort of dishes wrong.

    viktor's lamb stew sounds good, never cook with lamb for some reason.

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    It's almost the epitome of the postmodern condition that we can't be simple and unpretentious without making a song and dance about it, isn't it?

    For my part, cheap, quick, filling stuff tends to be pasta or curry. The latter being generally a dahl, a vegetable and frozen paratha. Although I guess that's partly influenced by cooking veggie almost all the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slothrop View Post
    "Hearty unpretentious peasant food" is waaay up there on the bourgeois food one-upmanship scale, though, isn't it? About the only thing that beats it is stuff that can be described as "street food". It's when not-poncey wraps around and becomes poncey again.

    In any case, good food is good food regardless of who likes it, so keep going.
    Well yeees, but as you say yourself, you can go so far out of your way to be anti-pretentious that you end up sounding pretentious about it* - so I think it's fine to have a thread about good, relatively easy/inexpensive recipes that a lot of us will enjoy sharing and trying out, regardless of what language you use. There's is surely nothing more middle-class - in the most tiresome possible way - than overanalyzing absolutely everything and getting worked up about whether this or that thing is too 'bourgeois'.

    *edit: what I mean is, if it's pretentious to be ostentatiously anti-pretentious, then surely it's just as pretentious to be ostentatiously anti-anti-pretentious, etc. etc. ad nauseam.

    Sorry, I do kind of see what you're getting at, but if it's bad to sound poncy but also bad to sound un-poncy in case this is actually double-secret-meta-ponciness in disguise, then you start to be seriously constrained in what you can actually say at all.

    Victor, your recipe sounds great but

    Quote Originally Posted by viktorvaughn View Post
    3 lentils
    aren't gonna go far! Do you mean 3 packets/tins/pounds, maybe?
    Last edited by Mr. Tea; 26-09-2013 at 10:25 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slothrop View Post
    Although I guess that's partly influenced by cooking veggie almost all the time.
    Just remembered, fagioli all'uccelletto is a great easy veggie dinner. A tin of tomatoes and white beans stewed with garlic and sage. Pre-cook some dried beans for cheap, or use a tin for easy. Serve it with bread, and add some excitement by sticking an egg or the inevitable halloumi on top.

    And yes, this is basically jumped-up beans on toast.
    Last edited by Slothrop; 26-09-2013 at 10:25 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    Well yeees, but as you say yourself, you can go so far out of your way to be anti-pretentious that you end up sounding pretentious about it - so I think it's fine to have a thread about good, relatively easy/inexpensive recipes that a lot of us will enjoy sharing and trying out, regardless of what language you use. There's is surely nothing more middle-class - in the most tiresome possible way - than overanalyzing absolutely everything and getting worked up about whether this or that thing is too 'bourgeois'.

    Sorry, I do kind of see what you're getting at, but if it's bad to sound poncy but also bad to sound un-poncy in case this is actually double-secret-meta-ponciness in disguise, then you start to be seriously constrained in what you can actually say at all.
    Yeah, for sure, it's just that if we're going to wax lyrical about hearty peasant stews too much then we'll be on shaky ground when we subsequently direct bile at "twee" people who buy "artisan mustard" or whatever.

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    I will endeavour in future to eat only foods that are appropriate to my ethno-socio-econo-cultural identity.
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    Eat what you like. It's just the doublethink between this and, say, the "twee" thread that bothers me.

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