So I tried the Skyrim Apple Cabbage stew.

Well, the recipe that can be found here.  I went with the ‘use bacon grease and add the cooked bacon’ option: the whole thing came out very nicely, although I probably made a mistake at putting the cooked bacon in before I let it simmer for forty-five minutes.  My wife isn’t sure about that; she liked the general of-pork flavor of the dish.  It is not a zesty stew as described, though: salt and pepper at the least, possibly more spices.

I really should revisit Skyrim at some point.  See what the modders have been doing with it since the last time.

Some recommendations for stew.

A commenter wanted the recipe for the venison stew I ate earlier today – which I don’t have, because I didn’t make it.  But I can make a couple of helpful suggestions in general:

  • Brown the meat in the pot that you’re going to to be making the stew in.  Toss in some onions and minced garlic there, too.
  • Yes, I’m going to tell you: cast iron.  Just use it, OK? – Cliche or no.
  • Use stock or broth instead of water.  Heat that up before you add it to the meat.
  • The real – the absolutely real – trick to stew is to leave the damn thing alone.  Give the meat & broth some time to simmer.  Like a couple of hours.
  • Add your vegetables well after that simmering.
  • Don’t go nuts.  Onions, carrots, potatoes, a bay leaf or two, pepper, salt… oh, and a handful of rice. I used to put in peppers and mushrooms, only nobody noticed when I didn’t.  Your mileage will vary on this one.

All in all, a good stew is something you assemble over the course of an afternoon.