Braised Italian Sausage Stew
I followed the recipe exactly as written. I didn't add, omit, or substitute anything, and I used an enameled dutch oven.
Overall the stew turned out really well. The vegetables come out al dente after one hour of cooking. It was definitely very different from the types of things I have been cooking lately. We enjoyed eating it and will save the leftovers for later, but I doubt it will become something I make frequently; perhaps when in the mood for something unusual.
One reviewer said it "kind of tastes funny," and I can see why someone might say that. This stew definitely has a sharp note that might be a little too much to some people. I thought about it and narrowed it down to 3-4 things. The reviewer suspected the parsnips. They definitely do add a unique flavor to the dish. Second, the sausage itself has various spices in it, the most noticeable being fennel which stands out in the dish. Third, the tomatoes and their juice give the dish an acidic bite that became somewhat taxing by the end of the meal. There are so many similar tomato products at the store, did I pick the right kind? I did my best and used a 28oz can of "plum tomatoes in juice" so I think I got it right. Might be interesting to drain the juice next time and substitute with more chicken stock (or water). Fourth, the wine?
One last note, and this is my fault for being a novice: I wish the recipe had said to peel the parsnips. This was my first time cooking with parsnips and I didn't know that. I do now.
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Apr. 6, 2013