A Good Stew

In my opinion, there are too many cookery books out there. I suspect it´s a bit like porn, for the frustrated. I used to fast regularly, and three days into a fast I would always hit the cookery books, hard. These days I´m rarely tempted to reach for anything fancier than the Swedish standard classic "Vår kokbok" ("Our cookbook"), that´s been around since 1951, in continously updated versions. But this one, "Långkok" ("A dish that requires slow cooking" - according to my dictionary) by Jens Linder from 2007 is a real, inspirational gem.

I find most cookery books have unnecessarily complicated recipies. I like simple dishes. I make a large pot of goulash with knödel at least once a month, and it´s the easiest and fastest thing in the world to make. Ok, it has to cook for three or four hours, but while it´s doing that I can do other things. Like reading this cookery book. And I always think I´ll put some of it in the freezer for later, but I end up eating goulash every day for a whole week. Because I LOVE it. I can´t imagine anything more comforting for the body or the soul.

After having read this one, I am tempted to try cooking larger chunks of meat, like a classic tafelspitz or an English roast beef with Yorkshire pudding. There are more exotic things in this book as well, like Zilzil alecha from Ethiopia or Vindaloo, but that´s not for me. Our neighbourhood restaurant Harnet serves excellent Eritrean slow cooked meals with traditional injera. No point in making at home what I can get better and cheaper from someone else. And I´m not too crazy about Indian food, but if I had been, we have a good Indian restaurant in town as well.

This evening´s dinner
Not all the very artful pictures in the book excite my appetite. I never saw the point in boiling very fatty parts of meat, as boiled fat is just about the most disgusting thing ever. I prefer the leaner bits in my pot. But, to each his own.

And perhaps carrots in goulash is not entirely kosher, but it works for me. If you like old-fashioned cooking this is an excellent book.

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