Wieprza Stew

Wieprza (vecp-rsah) is a favourite of the men and women who live on the long-distance barges that travel the inland waterways of Europe. It is extremely simple to prepare, and the slozo cooking of the meat produces a richly flavoured gravy. Serve with potatoes baked in their skins.

6 medium-sized onions, sliced

4 garlic cloves, halved

4 lb. chuck steak, cut into

1-inch thick slices

1 teaspoon salt

8 black peppercorns, crushed

1 tablespoon juniper berries

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 fl. oz. red wine pared rind of

1 orange

2 fl. oz. brandy

Preheat the oven to cool 300°F (Gas Mark 3, 170°C).

Arrange half the onions and half the garlic in the bottom of a large casserole. Place half of the meat slices on top.

Continue making layers until all these ingredients have been used up.

Sprinkle over the salt, peppercorns and juniper berries. Pour over the oil and wine and arrange the orange rind on top.

In a small saucepan, warm the brandy over moderately low heat. Ignite the brandy and shake the pan until the flames die out. Pour the brandy over the ingredients in the casserole. Cover the casserole and place it in the oven. Cook for 6 to 8 hours or until the meat is tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

Remove the casserole from the oven and remove and discard the orange rind. Serve at once, straight from the casserole.

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