Peasant food

Benny B

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

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
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.
 
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baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
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
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
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
 

viktorvaughn

Well-known member
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
 

Slothrop

Tight but Polite
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.
 

Slothrop

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

Benny B

Well-known member
"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.
 

Slothrop

Tight but Polite
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.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
"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

3 lentils

aren't gonna go far! Do you mean 3 packets/tins/pounds, maybe?
 
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Slothrop

Tight but Polite
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.
 
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Slothrop

Tight but Polite
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.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
I will endeavour in future to eat only foods that are appropriate to my ethno-socio-econo-cultural identity. :p
 

Slothrop

Tight but Polite
Eat what you like. It's just the doublethink between this and, say, the "twee" thread that bothers me.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Eat what you like. It's just the doublethink between this and, say, the "twee" thread that bothers me.

But I think there's a crucial difference. No-one here is going to go out of their way to "source" the exact particular ingredients that would have been available to a Catalan shepherd in the 19th century in order to make a certain dish and thereby to bask in the reflected authenticity, rusticity etc. At least, I'd be very surprised if anyone did. I can see why the word 'peasant' in the thread title might rankle, implying as it does a class of poor rural agricultural workers that doesn't really exist in the UK any more (unless you count seasonal Polish fruit pickers or whatever), but all it's about is food that doesn't cost much to buy for, isn't excessively fiddly to prepare and is tasty and filling. I don't see anything wrong with that.

Anyway, we're getting badly sidetracked, let's get back to recipes.

One of my all-time favourites is sausage casserole. I like to use English pork sausages (although if you can get them, South African boerwors are the bomb, I think they're generally beef or a beef/pork mixture and they have the same kind of spice blend in them that's used to flavour biltong) along with chorizo for some extra greasiness and the wonderful red colour that comes from the paprika. Start by frying the English sausages whole with the chopped-up chorizo, plus mushrooms, onion and garlic and some chili flakes if you like (not too much, this is meant to taste European, not Mexican). Once the sausages are mostly cooked, add a 1:2 mixture of red wine and beef stock, plus whatever veg you want beyond mushrooms and onions - kale, broccoli, carrots, anything wintery really. If you want to add potatoes (or better still, sweet potatoes), I find it's best to cook them separately then add them towards the end. I guess this breaks the one-pot rule but I find it helps stop the casserole getting too slushy from the starch released by the spuds during boiling.

Add herbs - bouquet garni, bay leaves and sage are a good bet, plus lots of black pepper, salt if needed (probably not if you're using ready-made stock), a little tomato puree is good too. Then simmer on a low heat until everything is looking suitably casserole-ish, with the brilliant red oil having seeped out of the chorizo and infused the dish. Chopped parsely on top is a nice touch to finish.

We've done a more Italian version of this with a can of chopped tomatoes and bertolli beans, but if using dried beans be sure to soak them overnight first (we made the mistake of not doing this once, was pretty annoying). Belly pork can be used instead of the sausages.
 

griftert

Well-known member
There isnt any peasants in the UK anymore but there are tonnes of poor people. This pretty much necessitates buying cheap food whatever way you cut it, so I don't think that you can say that the contents of this thread are affected. Even if you assume that everyone who posts on here is middle class (doubtful) we all recognise what it's like the last week on the month when you haven't got two pennies to stick together.

I've recently been making this little number with frozen veg. .Surprisingly tasty

cabbage
green beans
mixed peppers
spinach
kidney beans
garlic
anchovies (1 tine)
peanut butter

serve with rice and a tin of pilchards. Tasty/healthy/cheap and takes about 15 minutes.

I also like daal

finely chop onions and fry till brown
add garlic
fry cumin/coriander/whatever else
add chilli powder
fire in some red split lentils that have been cooked for ten minutes or so
add ti tomatoes

again, cheap and quick as. Add frozen veg to bulk up.
 

Immryr

Well-known member
here is another decent sausage thing to add to the collection:

take the skin off a sausage or two and make into meatball type guys
fry with a couple of whole, peeled cloves of garlic
add some green lentils to the pan (I usually use the big flat sort rather than the French puy kind) along some chunks of parsnip
add stock and cook until the lentils are done.

you can also add some kind of herbs if you want to fancy this up, tarragon, parsley, whatever.


and another sausage classic:

sausage meatballs, whole grain mustard, cream, pasta.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
That sounds wicked apart from the parsnips, which I'm opposed to on an almost ideological level - but I guess sweet potato would probably work in its place? I fucking love sweet potatoes, they're a bit more expensive than regular spuds but still cheap enough for a staple.

Made the best fucking pie ever today, though I say so myself. Chuck steak, field mushrooms and a whole bottle of this stuff:

P1100038.JPG


encased in shortcrust pastry. God, it was good.
 

mistersloane

heavy heavy monster sound
black bean soup / black bean stew / black bean chilli. i can put up recipes if anyone wants em, think I did one in the other thread but that was ages back.
 
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