The greatest thing about being a nerd is being able to combine multiple passions into one creative piece of entertainment. For our Film Du Jour series, we combine our love of movies with our passion for cooking, and teach you how to make some of your favorite dishes from famous films. In our first edition, we taught you how to perfectly cook Colonel Hans Landa’s delicious apple strudel from Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. Well, we didn’t stray too far from the theme here, as this week’s subject is the mouth-watering inducing stew from Minni’s Haberdashery in Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight.
In the film, to avoid a terrible blizzard, the main characters end up shacked up for the night at Minni’s Haberdashery. The rustic abode is the perfect setting for a night of arguments and violence. However, one of the silent scene-stealers is actually the steaming, comforting stew that each of the characters indulges in to warm them up from the cold. The stew, while a simple dish, comes across on the screen as a life-saving meal from the gods. Each character appears to truly enjoy the warmth and flavors of the decadent meal, and as an audience, you’d have to be an alien not to get some sort of hungry reaction from it.
Film, and Tarantino in particular, has an ability to create emotions within the audience, including the ability to play to our dormant senses and even induce hunger. But who’s to say we can’t discover those flavors for ourselves? We did some searching and found a stew recipe that would certainly Minni’s. Follow along with the recipe, light a fire, and pop in Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight for an epic night of coziness and violence.
Minni’s Haberdashery Stew
Recipe courtesy of Food Network
* Vegetable oil, for searing
* 2 1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes (For an even more daring and authentic approach, use Buffalo meat if you can find it at your local market.)
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 2 medium onions, cut into 6ths
* 5 cloves garlic, crushed
* 1 tablespoon tomato paste
* 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, or to cover
* 10 cups cold water, or chicken or beef broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
* 6 sprigs parsley
* 6 sprigs fresh thyme
* 2 bay leaves
* 1 1/4 pounds medium red potatoes, quartered
* 4 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
* 2 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch pieces
* 7 canned whole, peeled tomatoes, lightly crushed
* 2 to 3 teaspoons red wine vinegar, or to taste
* Heat a large Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. Pour in enough oil to fill the pan about 1/4-inch deep. Season the beef generously with salt and pepper, and add to the pan. Saute half the meat, uncovered, stirring only occasionally, until well-browned, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a plate. Repeat with the remaining beef. Discard the oil and wipe out the pan.
* Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Return the pot to the stove and melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 1 minute more. Add the reserved beef and scatter the flour over the vegetable and beef mixture (enough to lightly coat) and cook stirring until lightly toasted. Add the water or broth, and bring to a simmer. Tie the parsley, thyme, and bay leaves together with a piece of kitchen twine and add the bundle to the pot. Season with 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste. Cover and transfer to the oven. Cook the meat until just tender, about 1 1/2 hours. (This can also be done on the stove at a low simmer.)
* Remove pot from the oven. Skim the fat from the cooking liquid with a spoon or ladle. Add the potatoes, carrots, celery, and the tomatoes, and bring to a simmer on top of the stove. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the liquid thickens and the vegetables are tender, about 1 hour. Remove and discard the herb bundle. Stir in the vinegar and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Divide among bowls and serve immediately.