When the Dutch came sailing around the coast of what would later be called Australia, they brought with them spices, so in honour of them we cooked this traditional Dutch stew next to the landing of the first ever European on Tasmanian soil. While some say that hutspot refers to the small huts the explorers used for shelter, others suggest it refers to the hotchpotch of ingredients that went into the pot. Whichever one you go with, add some spuds and it’s perfect campfire fare.
- 200 g butter
- 2 brown onions, peeled and diced
- 2 kg chuck steak, cut into 4 cm dice
- 2 thumbs ginger, peeled and sliced
- 6 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 3 tsp ground mace (see Note)
- 500 ml (2 cups) water
- salt and pepper, to taste
- handful chopped flat-leaf parsley
- boiled new potatoes, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Melt the butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until lightly coloured. Remove the onions from the pan, leaving as much butter in the pan as possible. Increase the heat to high and cook the beef, in batches until golden all over, taking care not to burn the meat. Add the ginger and let that sizzle with the meat, then add the carrots, mace, water and the cooked onions. Give the bottom a good scrape with a wooden spoon to remove anything stuck on the base. Season to taste, then bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to as low as possible and cook gently for 1½-2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes to ensure nothing catches on the base or that it hasn’t dried out. If necessary, add a little extra water - you want a little juice but not a soup.
When the meat is tender, check the seasoning, add the parsley and serve with boiled spuds. If you’re cooking this over a campfire, you could even add the potatoes to the same pan for the last 20 minutes of cooking.
• Mace is the red lacy covering of the nutmeg, with a more delicate flavour. A pinch or two of nutmeg in this would also add another elegant note.
This recipe is from Gourmet Farmer Afloat.