Turnip Stew (Steckrübeneintopf)

Region – Northern Germany

“What is that…”?

With a puzzled look, the young man at the supermarket’s check out counter held up a red/purple/yellowish round something, about as large as a baby’s head.

“That’s a Turnip; tastes great in Turnip Stew”, the older gentlemen behind me chimed in.

This little exchange is representative of the sad demise of the Turnip. The older generation remembers well how during times of famine, potatoes and turnips where almost the only food available, and the younger generation of today’s oversaturated food culture may not even know what Turnips look like.

Turnip Stew is extremely easy to make and a real delight as the days get shorter and colder. There are many ways to prepare the stew, and probably every German Grandmother has her own version. You can prepare it with many different types of meat including smoked pork loin, beef, lamb, even cooked sausage or Bratwurst.

I use smoked pork loin, fresh herbs and a topping of sour cream to add a little twist.

Serves: 4 – 6        Difficulty:             Easy        Preparation time: 60 mins.

Ingredients

  • 2 onions, diced
  • 500 g smoked pork loin
  • 200 g bacon bits
  • 2 TBS clarified butter or vegetable oil
  • 750ml vegetable broth
  • 1kg turnip, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 half stem of leek, cut into rings
  • 1 small celery root, diced
  • 500 g potatoes, peeled and cut into dices
  • 1 – 2 TBS fresh marjoram, chopped, plus some whole leaves for decoration
  • 2 TBS fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 TS dried savory herb
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 4-5 TBS of heavy sour cream
  • freshly ground salt and pepper

Preparation

Clean and roughly dice 2 onions. Rinse and dry meat. Place bacon bits and 1 TBS of clarified butter or vegetable oil into a large cooking pot. Crank up the heat and melt butter and brown the bacon. As bacon begins to brown, add 500 g of smoked pork loin and continue to brown on high heat for several minutes. Add the onions and continue to brown for another 2 minutes. Season with freshly ground salt and pepper.

Remove bacon, onion and meat mixture from pot. Melt another TBS of clarified butter or vegetable oil and add vegetables. Stir fry all vegetables for 5 minutes on high heat: Return the meat to vegetables and add 750 ml of vegetable broth. The vegetables should be covered with broth. If this is not the case, add some water. Add two bay leaves. Place lid on pot and let simmer for 30 -45 minutes. 10 minutes before the end of cooking time, add 1-2 TBS of fresh Marjoram and 1 TS of dried savory herb. Once vegetables are soft to your liking season well with freshly ground salt and pepper.

Arrange everything on a plate. Place 1 TBS of heavy sour cream in the center and sprinkle fresh chopped parsley and a few marjoram leaves over the stew.

Dry white wine or beer goes well with the meal.

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