Welcome to this new addition to the Wolfecast – Wolfe Eats! As we move through the series, we will also recreate a meal from the book. With all the delicious dishes mentioned in the books, we are sure that our bellies and minds will be occupied 🙂 The book that will be referenced for these recipe choices is The Nero Wolfe Cookbook. I hope that you guys enjoy this addition and try the recipes out as well!
The recipe that we will be recreating is from The Doorbell Rang and is during a relapse time for Wolfe; the meal was Goulash. This particular dish was the fan favorite in a Twitter poll (follow us here!) that I ran.
I have been in a bit of a rut and, like Wolfe, needed some help being pulled out of the mundane daily practices and lack of wanting to do what I am here to do – record podcasts and make Fritz’s dishes! This was a fun one to recreate, mainly because I love a good stew-like item, and also, it’s still pretty chilly in Chicago, so it warmed the house up.
So right from the start, I was out here making some decisions – like what is stewing lamb? I am not the biggest cook, so I really wasn’t sure what that was – like is it cubes of lamb, some sort of on-the-bone situation that I then have removed? I wasn’t sure so we went with cubes. Since this entire dish made me think of stew, that is the avenue I chose to follow. Everything else was pretty straightforward – I was able to get some strong stock from my mom (who just has this on hand – it must be a cooking thing) and ended up buying vodka. I couldn’t find good Polish vodka so I went with a solid British brand. I had a fun time doing this, the only tedious part was browning the meat in batches – that gets old real fast. Luckily I was using my large cast iron, so it was only 3 batches. As you will see in the video below, batch cooking and having the veg prepped made this an easy dish to make.
End Results and Taste Test
I really enjoyed this dish! It was a little heavy since it was made with butter and strong stock, so I cut it with some tomatoes and pickled celery. I loved how each of the flavors shines through and it really worked with rice. Next time, I may try it over some noodles, with some sort of crunchy vegetable to balance the heaviness. I did try it without the vodka to see if it would be different after I added it and I didn’t really notice what it did. It could be because I didn’t use good Polish vodka. I would strongly suggest trying this in the winter months because it freezes well and only gets better.
3 pounds stewing lamb, boned
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons paprika
4 cups sliced onions
1 green pepper
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups strong beef stock
1/4 cup Polish vodka
Cut the lamb into 1-inch chunks and dust with the flour, salt, and pepper. Melt the butter in a large casserole and brown the meat, a few pieces at a time. Do not allow the butter to burn. Sprinkle paprika over the meat as it cooks. Add the onions to the pot. Seed and slice the green pepper and add it along with the bay leaf and beef stock. Cover the pot and simmer until tender (about 1 hour). Five minutes before you take the stew off the heat, skim it of fat and stir in the vodka. Serve with noodles or rice. (Serves 4)
This dish, made with lamb instead of kid, is served for dinner on the day that fricandeau has appeared on the table at lunch. Since the two dishes are very similar, this may seem to be rather too much of a good thing, but remember, this is a relapse.