Sunday, March 29, 2009

Only for Asparagus Lovers: Spargel Ragoût

Spring is sprung and the asparagus at the grocery store is looking better and better. Although not much beats asparagus washed, quickly microwaved, and topped with lemon butter, Spring is the time of year for asparagus stew -- Spargel Ragoût. This recipe came down through my father's German relatives and has been modernized (and probably "Americanized") over the years. Don't be shy with the nutmeg.

  • 2 pounds asparagus
  • 2 Tbl. butter or margarine
  • 2 Tbl. flour
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbl. ground nutmeg (Use less if freshly grating the nutmeg.)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Brown or white rice, cooked, to serve as a base for serving the stew.
  1. Wash & break asparagus into 1 inch pieces, throwing away the tough ends.
  2. Boil the asparagus in two quarts of water flavored with 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. nutmeg until just tender. Drain, reserving both the water and the asparagus.
  3. In the same pot, melt the butter and add the flour, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper, and 1 tsp. nutmeg. Cook while stirring to make a roux.
  4. Slowly pour the reserved asparagus water into the roux, stirring to avoid lumps. Bring to a simmer.
  5. Separate the eggs, beat the whites until stiff.
  6. Mix egg yolks, ground meat, bread crumbs, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper, and 1 tsp. nutmeg.
  7. Fold beaten egg white into meat mixture.
  8. Drop meat by spoonfuls into the simmering asparagus stock.
  9. When the meat is done, return the asparagus to the pot.
  10. When the asparagus is hot, serve the resulting stew over cooked rice.
As the title says, only for asparagus lovers but if that's you, you'll love this.

Asparagus on Foodista

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Imprecise & Inexpensive

Two themes predominate in my approach to cooking. 1. Daily cooking of flavorful food need not be a precise art. 2. You can be an adventurous cook on a budget. Cooking and eating should be fun for both cookers and eaters.