Slow cooker stew with red winter wheat, moong dal and collards

Red winter wheat, moong dal, collards

Isaac is home from school with strep throat. We’ve drawn a little book of bugs, drawn mixed-up dinosaurs (Isaac declared himself “pretty impressed” with my mixed up pteranadon/prehistoric shark!), and we’ve gone to the doctor, where he danced all around, charming the nurses, and didn’t seem very sick at all. It’s been a cold and rainy couple of days. Perfect for lying around in PJs drawing dinosaurs. Perfect for making brothy, flavorful stews in your slow cooker!! This stew combines hard red winter wheat, moong dal and collard greens – a green that can stand up to a long cooking-time if ever there was one! Hard red winter wheat (also called wheat berries, I think!) is pretty and very tasty, but needs to cook for a while (hello, slow cooker!). I chose to pair it with moong dal because whole moong dal, which also needs to cook for a very long time, is so bright and pretty and green, and looked so nice with the red winter wheat. An aesthetic culinary pairing! Of course, when they’re cooked they both pretty much look brown – but pretty tawny brown! If you don’t have moong dal on hand, you could use any other dried bean in this stew. Black-eyed peas might be nice!

The broth is smoky and a little sweet, with a kick of cayenne. The texture of the stew is quite nice – the moong dal becomes soft, the winter wheat remains a little chewy, and everything retains a bit of its original character, though it all goes well together.

Here’s Chico Hamilton with Mulligan Stew. I love this!

1 large shallot, diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup red winter wheat
1/2 cup whole moong dal, picked over, rinsed and drained
1 t brown sugar or raw sugar
1 t sage
1 t rosemary
1 t thyme
1 t smoked paprika
1/4 t fennel seeds
pinch cayenne (or to taste)
pinch nutmeg
pinch allspice
5 large collard leaves, stems removed, washed and chopped in one inch square(ish) pieces
2 T butter
2 t balsamic
salt and plenty of black pepper

PUt the moong dal in a sauce pan. Put in 4 cups water. Bring to a boil. After 3 minutes, turn the heat off, and leave the dal to soak for an hour.

Warm the olive oil in a soup pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook till they start to brown, then add the garlic and the herbs & bay leaves. Cook for a minute or two. Add the dal and wheat. Stir to coat, and cook for a few minutes. Add the sugar. Stir. Add all of the spices, and then instantly add about 5 cups of water. Stir in the collards. Bring everything to a boil, boil it for a few minutes, and then take it off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes.

Pour it into a slow cooker. (I preheat mine with a few tablespoonfuls of water, so the hot stew isn’t too much of a shock) Cook on high for about 4 1/2 hours, till the moond dal is fairly soft, and the winter wheat is still a little chewy.

Add butter, balsamic, salt and plenty of black pepper. Serve with a nice loaf of crusty bread.

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3 thoughts on “Slow cooker stew with red winter wheat, moong dal and collards

  1. Hi Claire – got here via your mouthwatering comment in the New York Times article What Do You Listen To In The Kitchen and the companion articles in the same vein, which were all fascinating. It was amazing how all those cooks and chefs had all reached the same conclusion as you that music is a vital ingredient in preparing, eating (and clean up too) if you love food. This recipe looks wonderful, Chico Hamilton’s Mulligan Stew is warm, a little spicy and bubbling along slowly. I hope Isaac feels better very soon.

  2. Pingback: Puffy roasted sweet potato and rosemary flatbread | Out of the Ordinary

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