Landisian Beef Stew with Bacon, Bratwurst, and Beer

Basch and Noah fon Ronsenburg“After Vayne’s ruse I had abandoned hope for honor… yet never did I forget my knightly vows. If I could protect but one person from war’s horror… then I would bear any shame. I would bear it proudly.

“I could not defend my home. What is shame to me?”

—Basch fon Ronsenburg, FFXII

  • 22 oz. bottle of strong Belgian-style ale, such as Stone’s Cali-Belgique IPA
  • 1½ lbs. beef stew meat
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 6 oz. raw bacon, cut into ¼” strips
  • 1 pound of carrots, scrubbed and sliced diagonally into 1” pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 15 garlic cloves (about 1½ bulbs), peeled and halved, divided into two piles of 10 cloves and 5 cloves
  • 2 large yellow onions, quartered lengthwise and sliced crosswise (about 4 cups)
  • 2 bratwurst sausages, uncooked, casing removed and cut into 1″ pieces (about 7 oz. total)
  • 10 oz. sliced crimini mushrooms
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 2 cups homemade chicken stock or beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ oz. flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 crusty French baguette

Open the 22 oz. bottle of beer and measure out 1 cup. Set aside. Pour the remaining beer into a glass and enjoy it while making the soup.

Cut the stew meat into bite-sized pieces, about 1” square. Dredge the meat in flour. (The easiest way is to put the meat and flour in a plastic bag and shake until all pieces are fully coated.) Set aside.

Heat a heavy-bottomed soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crispy, about 10 minutes. Add carrots, 10 cloves of garlic, and onions. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden-brown and tender.

Stir in sausage and mushrooms and cook until browned on all sides, about 20 minutes. Add the stew meat in a single layer and season with salt and pepper to taste. Brown on all sides, about 20 more minutes.

Slowly pour in 1 cup of beer and 2 cups of broth, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan as you go, and bring to a boil. Stir well and add sugar, bay leaves, and a few sprigs of fresh thyme.

Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for about 1½ hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until the meat is soft and tender. Remove from heat. Discard thyme and bay leaves. Using a garlic press, add the remaining 5 cloves of garlic to the pot. Stir in vinegar and parsley, and serve with crusty bread.

Makes about 5 heaping 1-cup servings. Per serving (does not include baguette): 513 calories, 22.9 g. fat, 9.2 g. saturated fat, 0.1 g. poly. fat, 118.5 mg. cholesterol, 604.1 mg. sodium, 645 mg. potassium, 31.4 g. carbohydrates, 4.2 g. fiber, 42.6 g. protein, vitamin A 62%, vitamin C 19%, calcium 7%, iron 19%

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Landisian Hot Pretzels

Basch fon Ronsenburg“Our paths keep crossing, yours and mine. It’s more than coincidence.”

—Basch fon Ronsenburg, FFXII

If you can’t get Maldon salt, you can substitute sea salt, but it’s worth making an effort to find Maldon salt — the texture is perfect for this recipe, and you’ll find that you end up wanting to use it for all kinds of other recipes.

  • 1 16-oz. ball of pizza dough
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
  • A handful of Maldon salt
  • Bowls of hot mustard and spicy cheese dip, for serving

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and let rise for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and butter the paper.

Punch down the dough, knead lightly, flatten, and cut into strips. Roll each strip until about ½” thick, then transfer to the prepared cookie sheet. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can cross the ends into a traditional pretzel shape; or leave them as sticks — they taste just as good that way, and it’s a lot easier! Leave at least 2″ of space between pretzels and let stand uncovered until puffed, about 20 more minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a large, deep skillet, stir the baking soda into 5 cups of water and bring to a simmer over high heat. Spread paper towels on the countertop. Reduce heat to medium and carefully transfer the pretzels into the simmering water. Boil for about 15 seconds on each side, then transfer to paper towels using a slotted spoon. Return pretzels to the baking sheet, spacing them evenly.

Brush pretzels with egg wash and sprinkle with salt. Bake until richly browned, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately with a tankard of strong ale like Stone’s Cali-Belgique IPA or Green Flash’s Saison Diego. The pretzels can be stored overnight in a plastic bag at room temperature.

Archades Artichoke Dip

Archades“You’ve come to understand the difficulties of serving royalty.”

—Basch fon Ronsenburg, FFXII

  • 4 14-oz. cans of artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise (6 oz.)
  • ¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese (3 oz.)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (Cholula or Tapatio are recommended)
  • ½ cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese (2 oz.)
  • Warm baguette or crackers, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the artichokes, jalapeno, garlic, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and hot sauce. Transfer to a casserole dish and bake for about 15 minutes, until hot.

Remove from oven and sprinkle evenly with cheddar cheese. Broil for about 2 minutes, until browned in spots and bubbly. Serve immediately with sliced baguette.

Landisian Cider Stew

Basch fon Ronsenburg in the Barheim Passage“You have grown very thin, Basch.”

—Judge Gabranth, born Noah fon Ronsenburg, FFXII

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 leeks, white and light-green parts only, chopped and rinsed (about 2 cups)
  • 10 oz. sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 2 hot Italian sausages, uncooked, casing removed and cut into 1″ pieces (about 7 oz. total)
  • 1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1″ pieces
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. uncooked Arborio rice
  • 22 oz. bottle of hard cider, such as Julian Hard Cider
  • 12 cups chicken broth
  • 10 oz. kale
  • 12 oz. peeled, chopped butternut squash

Heat butter and oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add leeks, mushrooms, and sausage. Cook for 10 minutes until sausage is browned on all sides.

Add chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.

Pour in rice, and stir well to combine. Add cider and broth and bring to a boil. Stir in kale and squash and simmer, uncovered, about 2 hours, stirring frequently to prevent sticking and lowering the heat as necessary, until squash is tender.

Makes about 18 flat 1-cup servings. Per serving: 230 calories, 6.7 g. fat, 2.1 g. saturated fat, 0.5 g. poly. fat, 1.8 g. mono. fat, 32.1 mg. cholesterol, 588.2 mg. sodium (this will be less if you use homemade chicken stock instead of storebought), 291.2 mg. potassium, 29.3 g. carbohydrates, 1 g. fiber, 13.1 g. protein, vitamin A 35%, vitamin C 33%, calcium 6%, iron 8%

Dalmascan Bean Salad

Basch and Vossler“All I have done — I’ve ever thought of Dalmasca first.”

—Vossler York Azelas, FFXII

Despite the long list of ingredients, this recipe is fast and easy to make. It tastes even better the next day, when the complex flavors have had some time in the refrigerator to blend.

  • 3 medium zucchinis (about 1 lb.), washed and ends removed, cut into spears
  • 1 red pepper, washed and ends removed, cut into quarters
  • 1 green pepper, washed and ends removed, cut into quarters
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole-wheat couscous (about 14 oz.)
  • 2½ cups broth or water
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley (about ¾ oz.), washed, stems removed, and chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions (about 3 oz.), washed, root ends removed, halved and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger (about 2 square inches)
  • 8-12 garlic cloves (1 bulb), peeled and grated
  • 1 teaspoon dark-roasted sesame oil
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 small or 2 large lemons)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a baking pan, toss the zucchini and peppers with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and roast for 10 minutes. Stir well and continue to cook an additional 10 minutes, until zucchini is turning brown. Turn off the oven, remove baking pan, and set aside to cool.

Place couscous in a large Tupperware container. In a medium saucepan, heat broth or water to boiling and pour over the couscous, stirring once to make sure that the liquid is evenly distributed. Cover tightly and set aside for at least 10 minutes.

Fluff the couscous with a fork to separate the grains. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, chop the zucchini and peppers into small pieces. Add them to the couscous, along with the remaining liquid in the baking pan. Add the beans, parsley, onions, garlic, and ginger. Pour in sesame oil and lemon juice and toss well to combine.

Makes 8 servings (about 2 flat cups per serving).

Per 2-cup serving: 414 calories, 8.6 g. fat, 1.1 g. saturated fat, 1.3 g. poly. fat, 5.1 g. mono. fat, 777 mg. sodium, 378.3 mg. potassium, 69.5 g. carbohydrates, 13.8 g. fiber, 16.3 g. protein, vitamin A 7%, vitamin C 87%, calcium 11%, iron 20%

Basch’s Campfire Flank Steak

Basch fon Ronsenburg“To think Dalmascan air could taste so sweet.”

—Basch fon Ronsenburg, FFXII

  • 1 flank steak, about 1½-2 lbs.
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • Chili powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Crushed red pepper

Brush steak with olive oil.  Sprinkle with black pepper, salt, chili powder, garlic powder, and red pepper.  Repeat on other side.

Prepare a grill to high heat.  Place steak over direct heat, cover, and cook for 4 minutes.  Flip, cover, and continue to cook for 3 minutes.  Remove steak from grill and wrap in aluminum foil.  Let rest for 10 minutes.

Slice very thinly against the grain, at a slight diagonal, and drizzle with juices.  Serves about 3–4 people.

Gysahl Greens

Basch and chocobo“Fine. I’ll just get to the point. These are Gysahl Greens, kupo! You can call Choco outside the forest with these. Find chocobo footprints near the forest, kupo.”

—FFIX

  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 8 oz. package of crimini mushrooms, washed and sliced (about 3 cups)
  • 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 1 lb. greens, cleaned and chopped (beet greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, kale, or spinach are all good choices)
  • ¼ c. water (if using pre-washed greens)
  • 1 tsp. tamari or soy sauce
  • Cooked basmati rice, or other whole grain (optional)

Heat oil in a large pot on medium-low, being careful not to let it smoke. Add mushrooms and sesame seeds and cook until the mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the greens, with the water still clinging to the leaves (if using pre-washed greens, add ¼ cup water). Sprinkle with soy sauce. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, until greens are wilted.

Stir well to combine. Test the greens; if you prefer them to be more tender, add more water if needed, cover, and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Serve over rice if desired; the greens are also delicious on their own. Makes 4 servings.