Tenebraean Garulet Winter Stew

Tenebrae Castle“Can you cut vegetables?”

“Can you be a little more specific?”

“Finely will do just fine.”

—Ignis and Noctis, FFXV

This recipe is slightly adapted from the version posted in Chapter 69 of Classified to be more accessible to non-European cooks. (Lardons, for example, are very difficult to find in North America.) Thanks to Sekiei for the original recipe.

  • 2½ pounds braising mountain garulet or lean beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 large or 2 small yellow onions, halved, peeled, and sliced thinly
  • Fresh herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, flat parsley)
  • 1 bottle of full-bodied red wine, such as Syrah
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 big heads of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 3 long and thin Caem carrots, peeled and sliced thickly
  • 2 cups rich garulet broth or beef broth
  • 8 ounces lean lardons or cubed pancetta
  • 16 ounces small brown alstrooms, sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 16 ounces frozen peeled pearl onions

Place the stew meat and onions in a large bowl. Reserve half the flat parsley for garnish. Tie the remaining herbs together with cooking twine to make one big or two small bouquets garnis. Add to the bowl and cover with wine. Add pepper and 1 teaspoon sea salt and mix well. Refrigerate overnight or at least 3 hours.

Remove the meat chunks from the marinade and transfer to a colander to drain. Set the marinade aside for later use.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a Dutch oven or heavy soup pot over medium-high heat. Sear meat on all sides, about 3 to 4 minutes. While the meat is cooking, remove the onions from the marinade and transfer to the colander to drain. Set the remaining marinade aside for later use.

Add onions to the pot and sauté for a few minutes, until soft. Dust meat with flour and mix well. Add garlic and carrots and cook for a few minutes longer, until garlic is slightly softened. Pour in the remaining marinade and bouquets garnis. If the liquid does not cover the contents of the pot, add garulet broth.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 2½ hours.

About an hour before serving, melt half a tablespoon of butter in a large heavy pan. Cook lardons on medium-high heat until they start to brown. Add alstrooms, and sauté for about 10 minutes more, until alstrooms have released their liquid and are browning. Remove lardons and alstrooms from the pan and set aside.

Add half an inch of water (about 4 cups) to the pan and bring to a boil. Add sugar and remaining 1½ tablespoons butter and cook until melted. Add pearl onions and boil until all liquid has evaporated. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until onions are golden. Remove from heat.

Remove the bouquets garnis from the soup pot and stir in lardons, alstrooms, and pearl onions. Serve with steamed potatoes or fresh pasta. Dish into bowls and garnish with parsley, sea salt, and freshly-ground black pepper.

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Garula Stock

Gladio eating soup“Any food you make tastes better when you use good ingredients, right?”

—Gladiolus Amicitia, FFXV

For the broth:

  • Bones from 1 roasted chickatrice
  • 2½ pounds garula trotters, split lengthwise or cut crosswise into 1-inch disks (you can ask your butcher to do this for you)
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or another vegetable oil with neutral flavor
  • 1 bulbous wild onion, skin on and quartered lengthwise
  • 1 head of garlic, skin on and halved crosswise to expose the cloves
  • 1 small knob of Kettier ginger, skin on and roughly chopped
  • 2 leeks, roughly chopped and rinsed well
  • 6 ounces scallions, white parts only (reserve light and dark green parts for garnish)
  • 7 ounces whole alstrooms, or shiitake mushrooms

For the tare:

  • 20 grams kombu (dried seaweed)
  • 30 grams niboshi (dried sardines)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 27 grams katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
  • ¼ cup sake
  • ¼ cup mirin
  • 1 cup soy sauce

Place chickatrice bones and garula trotters in a large soup pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, put a heavy frying pan over medium heat and heat grapeseed oil until lightly smoking. Add onion, garlic, and ginger and toast until lightly charred on most sides, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

As soon as it comes to a boil, remove pot from heat, transfer bones to a colander, and rinse well. Using a chopstick and cold running water, remove blood, dark marrow, and anything else that isn’t beige or white.

Return bones to the soup pot and add charred vegetables, leeks, scallion whites, and alstrooms. Cover with cold water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat, skimming off any scum that appears and wiping off any black or grey scum from around the rim of the pot.

Reduce heat to a low simmer and cover. Check the pot after 15 minutes; it should be at a slow rolling boil. If not, slightly increase or decrease heat as needed. Continue boiling until stock is opaque and thickened to the texture of light cream, about 10–12 hours, checking periodically to ensure bones are submerged and adding more water if necessary.

Remove from heat and let cool until safe to handle, no more than 1 hour. Place a colander on top of a large pot.

Drape with cheesecloth folded into a large square. Strain stock into the colander. Discard bones and vegetables, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Next, make the tare. This is the salty base that you’ll combine with the garula stock when preparing your bowl of ramen. Without the tare, the garula stock is bland and flavorless.

Put the kombu in a bowl and cover with 1 cup water. Soak for at least 3 hours.

Heat the sesame oil in a medium saucepan. Add niboshi and saute for about 1 minute over medium heat until golden, being careful not to overcook. Add kombu and soaking liquid. Just before boiling, when you start to see bubbles forming around the edges of the pot, remove pan from heat and discard kombu.

Scatter katsuobushi over the surface of the water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 seconds. Remove pan from heat.

Let the katsuobushi sink to the bottom, about 10 minutes. Strain the stock through a sieve lined with a paper towel or coffee filter. Gently squeeze to release extra liquid. Set stock aside and discard the fish.

Add the sake and mirin to the empty saucepan and boil for about 5 minutes. Stir in soy sauce and bring to just under a boil. Remove from heat and let rest for a few minutes before stirring in the fish broth.

When you’re ready to prepare your bowl of ramen, bring the garula stock to a simmer over low heat. Place two tablespoons of the tare (fish stock and soy sauce mixture) in a bowl and top with 1 cup hot garula stock. Whisk well to combine and add noodles and toppings.

Steakhouse-Style Mandragora

Mandragoras in FFVII“Thought to be a variant of mandragora, for the vines that reach up from its collar, covering its face like a mask. Notes the famed naturalist, Merlose: ‘It weareth its skin in layers, much like to the root of similar name, perhaps for the proffering of protection ‘gainst the cold.'”

—bestiary entry, FFXII

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 ounces sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 2 leeks, trimmed, halved, thickly sliced, and rinsed well
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • A pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 tablespoon red wine
  • Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • Fresh baguette

Heat butter and oil in a large skillet. Add mushrooms, leeks, garlic, thyme, and salt, and saute over medium heat for about 30 minutes, until leeks are very tender. Add capers and red wine and season with black pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes more, until liquid has evaporated. Stir well and serve with warm bread. This recipe pairs beautifully with Basch’s Campfire Steak or Bahamut’s Baseball Steak, but it’s so good you can eat it all by itself.

Festival of the Hunt Stew

Festival of the Hunt in Lindblum“I heard there are traditional Festival of the Hunt dishes. Do you know where they serve them?”

—FFIX

  • 1½ lbs. beef stew meat
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 6 oz. raw bacon, cut into ½” strips
  • 12 oz. smoked kielbasa, sliced into ¼”-thick rounds
  • 1 large yellow onion or two small onions, peeled and diced (about 1½ cups)
  • 10 oz. sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 oz. dried pitted prunes, chopped
  • 8 oz. fresh Roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 lbs. drained raw sauerkraut (2 18-oz. jars)
  • 1 sourdough baguette or cooked egg noodles

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 large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the bacon, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in kielbasa, onion, and mushrooms, and continue cooking until browned, about 20 more minutes. Add the stew meat in a single layer and sprinkle with caraway seeds and allspice. Brown on all sides, about 20 more minutes.

Stir in prunes, tomatoes, and salt, and cook until the tomatoes are beginning to break down, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Slowly pour in wine, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan as you go. Pour in beef broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, add bay leaves and peppercorns, and cover. Simmer for about 2 hours, until beef is very tender.

Remove from heat and stir in honey and sauerkraut. Set aside and grill or toast slices of sourdough bread, if using. Divide stew into bowls and serve with the grilled bread or over noodles.

Makes 7 heaping 1-cup servings. Per serving (not including bread or noodles): 398 calories, 14.4 g. fat, 4.6 g. saturated fat, 0.1 g. poly. fat, 103.3 mg. cholesterol, 1790 mg. sodium, 403.4 mg. potassium, 31.6 g. carbohydrates, 2.2 g. fiber, 37.1 g. protein, vitamin A 5%, vitamin C 60%, calcium 3%, iron 18%

Elixir Soup

Terra and elixir in Narshe“Show me the alchemist who doesn’t wish in his heart of hearts to know the secret behind making an elixir, and I’ll show you a fraud! Of course, he might already know it… but it’s taboo to reveal the ingredients.”

—Tyak, Master Chef, FFXII

Okay, so you already know to start a pot of White Mage Chicken Soup when you feel like you might be getting sick, right? Well, this is the soup to cook when you’re feeling stressed out, rundown, and in need of some serious super-strength mind and body healing power. It’s packed full of ingredients to reduce your stress levels and make you stronger.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 large yellow onion or 2 small onions, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 medium carrots, chopped (about 1½ cups)
  • 3½ oz. shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced very thinly
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1½ pounds beef stew meat, uncooked, cut into 1″ pieces
  • ½ tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 cup dry green split peas (about 6 oz.)
  • 1 pound fresh plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 12 oz. sweet potato (1 large or 2 small), peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • Fresh oregano sprigs
  • Fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 5-inch pieces of dried seaweed (optional)
  • 12 oz. broccoli florets
  • 6 oz. baby bok choy, chopped
  • 1 head of garlic (about 8–12 cloves), peeled and grated or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger (about 3 square inches)
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons to ¼ cup)
  • Diced avocado and fresh basil leaves (optional)

Heat olive oil and coconut oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat just until the oil begins to shimmer. Add onions, reduce heat, and cook for about 10 minutes, covered. Stir frequently and reduce heat as needed if the onions are browning too quickly. Add carrots and mushrooms and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

Add chicken and beef and sprinkle with sea salt, cayenne pepper, coriander, cumin, and turmeric. Brown on all sides, about 15 minutes. Stir in split peas and cook for about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and sweet potato and continue cooking for another minute. Pour in broth and bring to a boil. Add oregano, thyme, bay leaves, and seaweed. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover.

Simmer, stirring occasionally, until stew meat and split peas are soft and tender, about 2 hours.

Remove from heat and stir in broccoli, bok choy, garlic, ginger, and lemon juice. Cover and let rest for about 5 minutes, until the broccoli is bright green and crunchy-tender. Divide into bowls and top with avocado and basil, if desired.

Makes about 12 heaping 1-cup servings. Per serving (not including avocado): 319 calories, 9.2 g. fat, 3.9 g. saturated fat, 0.9 g. poly. fat, 2.5 g. mono. fat, 79.1 mg. cholesterol, 966.4 mg. sodium (this will be less if you use homemade chicken stock instead of storebought), 724.5 mg. potassium, 25.2 g. carbohydrates, 6.1 g. fiber, 34.2 g. protein, vitamin A 62%, vitamin C 58%, calcium 9%, iron 17%

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%

Imperial Steak with Brandy Sauce

Imperial banquet at Vector“Quite the affair, throwing a banquet to welcome the Imperials, eh?”

—Tomaj, FFXII

  • Two 8-ounce baseball steaks
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 oz. mixed baby greens
  • 10 oz. sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 airplane-size bottle of brandy (50 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle steaks liberally with salt and pepper. Add oil and butter to the skillet; when the foam subsides, turn the heat to medium-high and put in the steaks.

Cook steaks for about 10–12 minutes per side, until internal temperature reaches at least 120 degrees. Meanwhile, divide the greens between two plates. When the steaks are ready, transfer to the plates.

Add mushrooms and shallots to the skillet and stir until tender, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and stir in brandy (be careful; it may ignite), then the mustard, then the cream.

Simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Divide between the plates and top with parsley.

Makes 2 servings. Per serving: 1,148 calories, 98.4 g. fat, 48.3 g. saturated fat, 4.8 g. poly. fat, 37.9 g. mono. fat, 300.4 mg. cholesterol, 271.9 mg. sodium, 1,632.5 mg. potassium, 13.4 g. carbohydrates, 1.7 g. fiber, 53.6 g. protein, vitamin A 131%, vitamin C 69%, calcium 22%, iron 26%