These are unfortunate times in the Midwest. My hair froze today as I was too impatient to wait for it to dry before heading to the car. KP contends that his nose hairs froze. According to my mother, “Frostbite is not a fashion statement.” Because of temperatures below twenty below, the state of Minnesota is shutting down tomorrow, except for where I work. So I will bundle myself into a marshmallow state of androgeny, stuff my socks with oxidizing iron warmer packs, KP will squirrel insulation on top of insulation in our attic, and I will make for the severalth this fantastic stew because it is the very definition of Hot. This, with a slice or two of toasted rye bread, will practically tuck you in at night. It’s times like these that cause one to flex one’s flexitarianism. God knows I’ll need some meat on my bones to make it through tomorrow.
Hungarian Sausage and Ale Stew
Adapted from Food and Wine
8 ounces thick slab bacon, sliced 1/4 inch thick and cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 large vidalia onion, thinly sliced
3 large yellow bell peppers, thinly sliced
3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
12 ounces Hungarian sausage (kolbÃsz) or 12 ounces chorizo sausage, thickly sliced (spicy)
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 3/4 lbs plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped (I used grape, because I had them and honestly thought they were the same thing—come to find out they are not)
1 cup red ale or 1 cup lager beer
1 bay leaf
fresh ground pepper
sourdough bread, grilled for serving
In a large enameled cast-iron casserole or Dutch oven, cook the bacon strips over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.
Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until very lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the bell peppers and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes longer.
Stir in the sausage slices, crushed red pepper and paprika and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and cook until beginning to break down, about 5 minutes.
Add the beer and bay leaf and bring to a boil.
Cover partially and cook over low heat until the vegetables are very tender and the sauce is slightly reduced, about 15 minutes.
Season the stew with salt and pepper and serve with bread—I used Pane Nero.
Too bad frozen hair makes me look like Cathy the comic strip. If this were the eighties, I always say…