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Road Kill Stew

I have a fabulous friend whose family does a themed competitive potluck every year. The competition is for taste of the dish and for the associating story that goes along with it. It’s the participants of the potluck who cast their votes. For four years I’ve gone and presented dishes and stories for ginger, fairy tales, and childhood memories. Darn it if I can’t remember what the first year was. For the fifth incarnation of the competitive potluck, competitors were instructed to use television as the inspiration for their entries. With the husband and wife being an artist and an English and Lit teacher (read her blog at omightycrisis.com) the creativity in both the themes and instructions are a hoot:

“Interpretation of this challenge depends on the participant’s personal history and creativity. Maybe you want to recreate the assembly-line “chocolates caper” Lucy and Ethel had on I LOVE LUCY; maybe you have always wondered what Mulligatawny soup tastes since seeing Elaine order it from the Soup Nazi on SEINFELD. Your dish could invoke nostalgia by recreating the meal your family ate as they watched THE LOVE BOAT together. Or maybe you have perfected Julia Child’s scrambled eggs. Upon registration, you will write a short paragraph telling us how television inspired your dish.”

Now I consider myself a terrific cook as well as a decent writer, but I’ve never won or come close to winning. This year I decided it was time to pull out all stops and write using my authentic snarky voice. I came up with:

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Road kill Stew –The Beverly Hillbilies

I loved watching The Beverly Hillbillies as a child and then later as an adult. There was even a time when I could sing along to the theme song. My favorite character was Granny (Daisy May) because she reminded me of my own hillbilly-like grandmother that I spent summers with in Arkansas.

My favorite scene dealt with road kill. Granny tells Jethro to “Stop the car…they’s a fresh kill in the road…can’t just leave it there…road kill stew sounds mighty good right now.”

With this in mind during my recent camping trip to the Ozarks, on a winding mountain road, I found just the thing to share with ya’ll; a couple of squirrels, a possum, and a raccoon – all laying on the side of the road as though they were scampering home after a bit of moonshine and got taken out by a gap-tooth hillbilly driving a rusted old truck. Quick as a wink I was out (like Granny) with my shovel scooping them up and placing them in my cooler on ice. I decided to adapt my grandma’s recipe for Squirrel Stew (which calls for one squirrel per serving) in order to use all three types of meat.

In case you’re wondering…I did confirm the critters weren’t too ripe and were relatively fresh before fixin em’ up fer you fine people – but just incase…rest assured that I put in a splash of moonshine as we know that’ll kill anything.

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Did I REALLY put squirrel, possum, and raccoon in the dish? No – I decided to use beef, pork and chicken and come up with a new recipe that honestly could be used with wild game. Was there really moonshine in there? Not moonshine, but Apple Pie Corn Liquor.

Roadkill Stew (not really)

This would be good with any wild game - or road kill if you happen to find it fresh. The apple pie corn liquor can be replaced with apple cider. The lard can be replaced with any type of animal fat. You can also replace the fresh green beans with two cans of green beans and their liquid.

Ingredients

1.5 pounds beef stew meat, cut in 1" pieces

1 pound chicken breast, cut in 1" pieces

1 pound pork loin steak, cut in 1" pieces

2 medium red potatoes, cubed

1 medium turnip, cubed

1 medium rutabega, cubed

6 medium carrot, cubed

1 medium onion, diced

5 stalks celery, diced

3 cups kale, torn

2 cups Green beans, fresh and chopped

1/2 cup apple pie corn liquer

1 teaspoon pepper

6 cube beef bouillion

6-8 cups water

1/4 cup flour

2 tablespoons lard

2 tablespoons butter

Instructions

1. In a large stockpot with a heavy bottom, melt the lard and the butter on medium high heat. Toss the beef, chicken and pork with the flour. Put into hot stockpot and brown. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the drippings and crusty buts as they add flavor.

2. Add onion and celery; cook until tender.

3. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to simmer and cover. Cook until all vegetables are tender. Stir frequently, scraping the bottom for the crusty bits, until the veggies are tender. Then the heat can be set on the lowest setting (just below a simmer) for the remainder of the time.

4. This soup can sit on low for up to 6-hours as the flavors will develop over time.

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Oh – by the way…this year I DID win in the story catalog. The prize was a fantastic basket lined with a linen kitchen towel (colors that perfectly match our kitchen) filled with adult beverages, snacks, Great Harvest bread, s fanstatic red serrated knife (complete with case), and a skewer of funky shaped and colored marshmallows. I wonder what theme they will come up with next year?

Avie Layne 2012