One Pot Wonder

The colder it gets, the lazier we’re inclined to be, and there’s only one category of recipes that perfectly suits that mood: one-pot wonders. Whether it’s soup, stew, chili, or your own weird concoction, throwing a bunch of ingredients in a covered pot and forgetting about it, only to return hours later to discover that you’ve already made the dinner you’re so hungry for, is pretty damn satisfying.

Cabbage, potato & mushroom stew:
1/2. large onion
3 cloves garlic
1/2 head. green cabbage
2 handfuls. cremini mushrooms
2lbs. purple potatoes (other varieties are fine, as well)
4 cups. beef stock (vegetable if you’re not a meat-eater)
2 pinches each. thyme, rosemary, parsley
olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

Put a large pot on medium heat, and add a couple tablespoons of olive oil. This is a stew, so we’re gonna keep the cuts chunky on everything we put in it. Start off by slicing the onions and garlic into large chunks, like so:
When the oil is hot, put the onions and the garlic in the pot along with the herbs and black pepper. I got the tip to add the herbs and spices in right at the beginning from a couple of friends who love to cook, and I think they were spot on. The essential oils from the herbs get immediately infused in the oil and thus permeate the dish much better than if you were to add them in later on. Fresh herbs, though, almost always go in right at the end. Anyway, back to the task at hand. While your onions and garlic are cooking, cut the mushrooms in thick slices and then add them to the pot right away. DO NOT SALT. Always, always, when cooking mushrooms, let the moisture stored inside of them cook off before you add any salt to the pan, otherwise they will become spongy. The mushrooms will cook in time for you to cut up the potatoes and cabbage. Cut the potatoes into bite-sized chunks and add them in first to get some color.
Add the cabbage in after the potatoes have cooked for 5 or so minutes. The stock, salt, and more black pepper should go in now as well. Go easy on the salt depending on if you’re using a low sodium broth or not. You can add more at the end if needed.
 Now cover the pot (with a plate if, like me, you’re lacking in kitchenware) and turn the heat down to a low flame. Let it simmer for 45 minutes, then check on it to a) stir the pot, and b) see if the potatoes and cabbage are soft. Once you have stirred, taste the broth and see if it’s right, and add or do not add herbs/salt/pepper accordingly. Put the lid back on and let it simmer for another 15 minutes, then ladle yourself a bowl and curl up on the couch. You’ll have plenty of leftovers, so the slothful state can prevail for the next couple of nights, too.

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