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Sam Gamgee Stew with Nasty Fries and Lemba!

This recipe comes straight out of the Lord of the Rings 💍, so to all LOTR fans, this goes to you guys!

I present Sam Gamgee Stew with Nasty Fries and Lemba!

This serves 4 

Preparation time: 30 mins

Cooking time: 45 mins

For the stew:

    • 2 Saddles of rabbit (about 1 lb 5 oz)
    • 1 Onion
    • 4 Carrots
    • 3 1 ⁄2 oz White mushrooms
    • 1 1 ⁄2 oz Butter
    • 1 t Honey
    • 1 T + 1 1 ⁄2 oz Flour
    • 2 T Veal bouillon powder
    • 18 fl oz Hot water
    • 1 Bouquet garni Salt and pepper
      For the fries:
        • 6 Potatoes
        • 1 T Coarse salt
        • Neutral-flavored oil, e.g. corn
      For the lembas:
        • 2 Eggs
        • 2 T Honey
        • 2 T Grapeseed oil
        • 2 T Orange blossom water
        • 2 1 ⁄4 oz Ground almonds
        • 1 1 ⁄2 oz Flour
        • 1 t Baking powder
        • 1 pinch Salt
        • 1 pinch ground star anise
        • Zest of 1 orange
        • 3 T Pumpkin seeds
        • 4 Large fruit tree leaves (e.g., fig leaves)
      Make the stew: Bone the saddles of rabbit (you can ask your butcher to do this, it will be less fiddly). Peel the onion and slice very thinly, peel the carrots and slice into rounds, and cut the mushrooms into quarters.
        Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan until foamy. Add the onion and sauté with a pinch of salt, some pepper, and the honey to caramelize. Brown the saddles over high heat, then add the carrots and mushrooms. Cook for 2–3 minutes, add 1 tablespoon of flour and cook for 2 minutes.
        Dissolve the bouillon powder in a little water in a bowl, then add the 18 fluid ounces of hot water. Add it to the saucepan with the bouquet garni, cover, and cook for 10–15 minutes. Remove the rabbit and vegetables, and heat the sauce over high heat so it reduces and thickens. Return the rabbit and vegetables to the sauce and adjust the seasoning if needed.
        Make the fries: Peel the potatoes and roughly cut them into fries. Place them in a saucepan and add cold water to almost cover and the coarse salt. Bring the water to a boil and allow 1 minute, then drain the fries.

          Heat enough oil to cover the base of a frying pan and add the fries. Cook them for a few minutes and season. Check whether they’re cooked with the tip of a sharp knife—if the blade comes out easily, they are cooked!

          Make the lembas: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Whisk together the eggs with the honey. Stir in the grapeseed oil, orange blossom water, ground almonds, fl our, baking powder, a pinch of salt, star anise, orange zest, and pumpkin seeds. Pour the batter into 4 cups in a cupcake pan and bake for 10 minutes.

          Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool, then tie a large fruit tree leaf around each. Arrange the rabbit and vegetables attractively on the plates.

          Spoiler alert

          If there were to be just one book left in the living room library, it would be this one, my precious! J. R. R. Tolkien’s œuvre spans generations, both in his books and on screen. In the second installment of the film trilogy, Sam makes a stew with the rabbits Gollum catches, the only way to eat them in his opinion. Gollum wants nothing to do with the “nasty fries” Sam finds so tempting, but it’s certainly a change from lembas—the elven bread they have in their bags.

          This recipe is from The Geek’s Cookbook by Liguori Lecomte.

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