Before I start the second installment in this series, a warning- If you're unaccustomed to eating massive quantities of fiber, go REALLY easy on the beans if and when you make chili. Likewise, taking it easy on spices might be a good idea, no matter how spicy you like your food. the reason behind this warning is that after eating chili made with two cans of Texas Rancheros beans, a couple of pounds of lean beef, and a shitload of poblano peppers, wasabi, habenero pepper sauce, crushed red peppers, and ancho chili, I've been running to the shitter shooting flames from my ass for the last 14 hours, and am feeling not unlike I did when I had dysentery in China, though I am as of yet not bleeding from my asshole.
Now, onto the show...
Quite frankly, the popularity of my stew idea has me taken a bit aback- I honestly believed the world at large would accuse me of having holed up in my house, collecting my own urine and fecal samples, and basically writing nonsense while living full-on Howard Hughes style. It appears, however, that I'm onto something, so I believe it behooves me to continue with my stew series- the more I research, the more I discover that the correlation between stew and gigantic, badass motherfuckers is 1:1, no matter where you are in the world. As it happens, my initial idea for eating stew didn't come from my research, but rather arose out of my inquiry into the ideal bulking diet, as I've grown unbelievably weary of constant dieting and have been looking around for a method by which I can alter my diet and increase muscular mass without becoming one of the giant, fat pieces of shit you see waddling around most gyms in sweatshirts with cutoff sleeves and sweatpants that appear to have been new when Flashdance was initially released on Laserdisc. Putting on a bit of fat in the pursuit of huge numbers is no issue- losing the appearance that I actually lift weights is.
As such, the traditional "see food" diet was not an option, nor was the hideous nonsense I reposted from Dave Tate about eating pizza drenched in olive oil. Instead, I thought to look to how people have done it around the world in a logical, sensible, sane manner, though with a mode of execution extreme enough to justify its use with my training methodology. That thought then sat on a dusty shelf in the back of my mind as I rummaged through it looking for odd bits and pieces for the new nutrition ebook, and I'd occasionally catch a glimmer from that abandoned shelf that'd draw my attention whenever the word "stew" popped up in a book or article. I then recalled Ori Hofmekler's bit on stew, which I posted in the last installment of this series, and the entire concept began to congeal in my head. I'd already thought in the past that chili could be made into the ultimate food, and then it dawned upon me- there is no need to make it into the ultimate food, because it already is the ultimate food. I did a bit of maths to confirm this, and this is what I found:
Assuming you make your chili with one pound of 93% lean beef, 425 grams of pinto beans, 425 grams of kidney beans, and a can each of tomato soup and diced tomatoes, you're looking at 2159 calories, 36g fat, 301g of carbs (of which 82g is fiber, so really it's 219g carbs), and 168g of protein, all for around $6. Thus, for maybe $16 bucks you could double that and have three protein shakes to top out around 5000 calories and 450 grams of protein.
Depending on how you look at it, you're hitting a split of 50% carbs, 37% protein, 13% fat without deducting the fiber, or 42% carbs, 43% protein, 15% fat with the fiber removed from the equation (which I do, because fuck fiber). Either way, if you can't grow on that shit, you're not going to grow on anything. Additionally, all of the health concerns constantly issuing forth from the mouths of your wives/girlfriends/parents/coworkers are obviated by the fact that you're getting an insanely balanced diet jam-packed with more fucking nutrition than you'd get just about any other way.
For those of you who are curious about my chili recipe, here it is:
Jamie's Pants-Shitting Scorched Anus Chili
2 lbs 93% lean ground beef
2 cans Bush's Best Texas Rancheros beans
Brown Bag Chili Mix
8 oz tomato sauce
5 poblano chilis, minced
6 TBSP Sriracha
4 tsp wasabi powder
4tsp habanero sauce
2 tbsp crushed red pepper
2 tsp ancho chili powder
2 tsp cayanne powder
Brown your meat. Add 8 oz can of tomato sauce. Add water by filling that can twice right out of your tap (16 oz). Mix thoroughly while adding our large packet of seasonings. Let simmer overnight in a crock pot.
Though my first love insofar as stew goes is chili, that's not my first thought with stew. When I think of stew, as a general rule, I think of the stew one sees in every medieval movie, ever. There's invariably an iron kettle brimming with meat and potatoes simmering in the backdrop of any medieval period piece, and that or roast meat are usually the only things you see eaten, along with bread. That, I've learned, is known as hunter's stew, perpetual stew, and hobo stew, and it sounds like it's a gigantic Santa Claus bag of awesome. Basically, this type of stew, which was extremely common even through the early part of the 20th Century in a lot of places, is whatever one can find thrown into a pot and slow cooked over a fire. The cool thing about the perpetual stew is that the pot never got emptied- as it was consumed, more random shit was thrown in- whatever meats, veggies, or tubers they had lying around got chopped up and used. This is why stews are so fucking cool- you can use endless variations, and the quality of the meat is inconsequential because even the toughest, stringiest cuts of meat are rendered tender by the slow-cooking process.
Though that description likely conjures up images of hulking, brutish, unwashed and bloody men slamming their forearms down on the table of a filthy inn and screaming "flagon of ale and meat!" at the top of their lungs, that type of a meal would have been just as common in the medieval era as it was in the Roman, the pre-Roman era of the Scythians, the early 20th century, and even in modern Iceland, Japan, Hungary, and elsewhere in non-Americanized countries. In fact, the stew-grain-alcohol combination of the medieval era was used with great success by the Saxon Trio of the early 20th Century and is the mainstay of the sumos and Russian strongmen- a healthy reikishi may drink up to six pints of beer at a midday meal (Scott), Saxon was apparently "weaned on beer" (he once drank 50 beers pre-performance) and ate a tremendous amount of stew and soup (Inch) and still perform, and everyone who's ever lifted in Russia has some tale of drunken debauchery and sour cream-filled beef stew. The amalgamation of alcohol, stewed meat, and grains seems to have arisen right out of the Middle Ages, as stew was referred to as "companaticum"('that which goes with the bread') and was thus nearly invariably served with booze and bread (Wiki).
I think most of us would agree that this might serve as a decent accompaniment to the meal.
Medieval Spiced Beef Stew
1.5kg lean braising steak, chopped into bite-size chunks
3 tbsp plain flour
Oil for frying
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground mace
1/8 tsp (small pinch) ground cloves
4 black peppercorns, crushed
1/2 tsp cardamom pods, crushed and green pods discarded
1 large onion, finely chopped
6 large sprigs parsley, stalks and leaves finely chopped, plus extra to garnish
900ml beef stock
50g stale wholemeal bread, torn into small pieces
3 tbsp cider vinegar
Pinch of saffron threads
Toss the beef with the flour to coat. Cover the base of a large casserole dish with a thin layer of oil and place over a medium high heat. Add the beef in batches and fry, stirring occasionally, until browned.
Return any browned beef to the pan with its juices. Add the spices, onion and parsley with a splash of the stock and fry, stirring frequently and scrapping up the crusty layer from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, for about 5 minutes until the onions have started to soften. Add the rest of the stock with a pinch of salt and bring to a gentle boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 hours, until the beef is tender.
Meanwhile, soak the bread in the vinegar with the saffron. Stir into the stew and simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes until the bread has broken down and the stew is thick. Taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with bread and buttered green vegetables, garnished with chopped fresh parsley.
Obviously, that's one stout ass meat soup. While it's not really fatty enough to be considered fully keto, you could diet for a bodybuilding show on this stew and show up grainier than a cameraphone pic from 2001. Additionally, cinnamon isn't just a dessert spice- it's used a hell of a lot in good chili recipes, and finds its way into damn near everything Indian. It's worth noting that cinnamon's inclusion into any meal is usually a good idea, as cinnamon confers a variety of health benefits you don't get with other spices- cinnamon lowers blood sugar and cholesterol and may prevent yeast infections in those sad sacks who've picked up the HIV on a trip to Thailand or their local bathhouse. As such, this stew is pretty much the ideal thing for anyone to eat from time to time, and eaten with a giant loaf of brown bread and a liquor-filled libation and you've got yourself one hell of a postworkout meal.
Frankly, the Macedonians have done exactly fuckall since conquering much of the known world, but as a former title holder in the World Domination Championships, their food deserves some mention. As for sporting events since then, they've only been a country since 1996 (they were part of former Yugoslavia, and prior to that part of the Bulgarian Empire), but have pulled down a number of medals in Olympic wrestling in spite of the fact that their country is essentially six people standing around a goat in the ass-end of Bulgaria. Though I didn't even know there was a such a thing as Macedonian cuisine prior to researching this, a restaurant in Indianapolis is famous for their stew, which is of course Macedonian- John's Famous Stew in Indianapolis. The stew, which is called Turli Tava, is supposed to be the balls, and you can make it considerably hotter (as the Macedonians are wont to do) by adding a bunch of Hungarian wax peppers.
Quite frankly, I have never had a Hungarian dish I found the least bit spicy and could rinse my contacts with the juice from Hungarian wax peppers, but Macedonians apparently love 'em and think they're capable of rendering stew spicy. That aside, cranking up the heat on your stew is a damn fine reason, as the capsaicin in hot spices can "burn body fat with minimal potency, fight inflammation with decent potency, and prevent cancer with indeterminate potency" (Examine.com). If you're more inclined to use horseradish or wasabi, that works as well, as the isothiocyanates that make the brassica family spicy inhibits cancer growth. As such, you should do as the Macedonians and Hungarians do and spice the fuck out of your food. If you find yourself disinclined to do so, consult the following complete list of people who do not like spicy foods:
- Pregnant women
- Breastfeeding mothers
- Menstruating women
- Women on menopause
- Old People
- Animals (except fish)
As Maddox says, "this is a complete list of people who do not like spicy foods,so if you don't like spicy food, you must one of the above listed. Animals, old people, and children can't read, so I guess that makes you a bitch" (Maddox 68-69).
Preheat oven to 400.
You will need:
1 pound of mixed meat – pork and beef – cut in chunks for stew
freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium eggplant, stem removed and roughly chopped
2 red or green bell peppers, stems and seeds removed, roughly chopped
1 large tomato, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups of okra, tops and tails cut off, blanched in salted water for 1 minute, rinsed and drained (if unavailable replace with green beans)
1 tablespoon paprika
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water
Parsley, roughly chopped to garnish
- Season veal, pork and chicken with salt and pepper and set inside the clay dish.
- Mix in the vegetables.
- Season with paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Add in the olive oil and water; mix well.
- Put it in the oven and cook it uncovered for 1 hour and 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Garnish with parsley.
- Let cool for 20 minutes then serve it warm with crusty bread. Utensils not needed- this stuff is chunky enough to eat with your hands or chunks of bread, just the way Conan would have done it.
Provided you're an adult human being who lifts weights and does not have their head jammed so far up your own ass that you know what your own duodenum tastes like, the Bulgarians require no introduction. Given the spate of prolapsed rectum gobbling I've noted (with pleasure) on various porn sites, I suppose I might as well introduce them anyway. Long known as the swarthy asshole of Eastern Europe, Bulgaria emerged as an Olympic wrestling and weightlifting powerhouse under the benevolent eye of the Soviets. No country has amassed medals in those respective sports as have the Bulgarians, a people as un-numerous as they are un-hirsute. Culturally, the Bulgarians are hardly Russian, however- they're a curious blend of Slavic, Celtic, and Greek influences. The Thracians, one of the only Greek nations to stand with the Spartans at Thermopylae, hailed from what is now Bulgaria, comprise the "Greek" influence, and combined with the Turkic/Hunnic Bulgars and South Slavs (the rest of whom eventually ended up as Yugoslavia) to comprise the population and culture of modern Bulgaria. Despite their vastly disparate culturally different influences, Bulgarians eventually embodied a literal and figurative melting pot, which then took tangible form on the dinner table as a Bulgarian favorite-Monastery gyuvetch.
2 lbs beef
4 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 lbs mushrooms
1 cup rice
1 onion, chopped
15 olives, whole
a bunch of parsley
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 cups beef stock
black pepper, paprika and salt
Cut the beef into cubes or small pieces and fry in a pan with a little oil for about 5 minutes or until brown. Add the onions, beef stock and paprika, 5 minutes later add the mushrooms and rice and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt to taste, butter, sugar and olives, and cook for another 5 minutes. Preheat oven to 400F. Transfer the content of the pan into a baking dish and cook for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and pepper before serving.
Or you could sprinkle that with some parsley and pepper before eating.
When one thinks of the Maori, stew is likely not the first thing to come to their minds. For those of you who are unaware, the Maori are some of the hardest motherfuckers to ever walk the Earth, and earned their massive statures from a diet so meat-heavy that they eventually turned to cannibalism to supplement their diets after hunting most of the animals in New Zealand to extinction. When I say "massive" this is of course relative- the average Maori male was about 5'8" prior to colonization, which was considerably taller than Europeans of the time, and were much more heavily muscled, as the average Maori was generally between 170 and 200 lbs. Replete with a shitload of badass tattoos and more bludgeoning weapons than one would like to see in hulking, heavily muscled natives in a tropical paradise they wish to conquer, the Maori were the last major indigenous group to fall to European colonization, holding out until the mid 19th Century after eating more Europeans than a French cunnilingus specialist. As it is everywhere else I've mentioned, the mainstay of the Maori diet was stew- in this case, the Maori Boil-Up. Unlike many of the other stews I've thus far outlined, the Maori Boil up is interestingly Zone-ish- it's almost exactly 33% protein, 33% fat, and 33% carbohydrates. Given that it's still the mainstay of Maori cuisine and the fact that the All Blacks
dominate rugby harder than Max hardcore dominates skinny chicks' tonsils, it stands to reason we could all stand to get a little Zone in our lives and rock this stew like it's Infant Annihilator's full length- all the live long day.
(with pork tenderloin, though traditional recipes generally use pork bones and pork neck added to the broth)
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 lb pork tenderloin
2 bunches watercress
1 large kumara, peeled and chopped (sweet potato)
1/2 large onion, peeled and chopped
3 green onions, sliced
6 cherry tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, in pea sized pieces
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
1 pinch sugar
1/4-1/2 cup milk
- Add stock, water and pork to pot, bring to a boil then cover and simmer for an hour.
- Soak watercress in cold water for 10 minutes. (This removes bitterness) Squeeze out moisture and break into pieces. Set aside.
- Add kumara, onion, green onion and tomatoes to stock and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove pork and chop into pieces. Return meat to stock and boil for 5 minutes. Add salt and watercress and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile make the doughboys. Cut butter into dry ingredients until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Stir in enough milk to make a stiff, slightly sticky dough.
- Drop either teaspoon or tablespoon sized amounts of the doughboy mixture into the the boiling pot, cover and cook for about 10-15 minutes. Don't lift lid while cooking. Larger doughboys will take a bit longer.
- Serve with a garnish of chopped cilantro.
When one thinks of Wales, they likely think of an incomprehensible language spoken by hill people who spend their time fucking sheep, if they think of them at all. While that is, I'm told, unequivocally true, the Welsh do have a long history of badassery spanning back to prehistory. According to a 15th century historian, "The ancient Britons being naturally a warlike nation did no doubt for the exercise of their youth in time of peace and to avoid idleness devise games of activity where each man might show his natural prowess and agility, as some for strength of the body by wrestling, lifting of heavy burdens, others for the arm as in casting the bar, sledge, stone, or hurling the bawl or ball, others that excelled in swiftness of foot, to win the praise therein by running, and surely for the exercise of the parts aforesaid this cnapan was prudently invented, had the same continued without abuse thereof" (Wiki) Cnapan, as it happens, is the forerunner to rugby union, the game at which the Maoris excel. When the Welsh played it, it had few rules, was played by teams numbering over a thousand a side, and often resulted in serious injuries and death. As such, it's not played anymore, as no insurance company will cover the players. Thus, the Welsh are left with shit like strongman, stone lifting, and Highland games, at all of which they excel. Of the former perhaps Gary Taylor is the most well-known contestant, a six foot, 300 lb behemoth who won the 1993 World's Strongest Man and who boasts a positively fucking ridiculous behind the neck push press of 600 lbs. The rest of the Welsh are hardly pussies, as they boast some of the toughest manhood stones in the British Isles- the Criccieth [390.5lb] and Ysbyty Ifan [300lb] stones. As I understand it, stew is traditionally the most-consumed food in Wales, and the most popular of the stews is Cawl, so again, we've got some bad motherfuckers sucking down stew like it's cum in a bukkake party.
6 x small Welsh lamb shanks
225g/8oz potatoes, peeled and diced
225g/8oz swede, peeled and diced
225g/8oz onion, peeled and chopped
225g/8oz carrots, peeled and diced
225g/8oz leek, cleaned and sliced thin
A bunch of herbs: Bay, thyme, rosemary and parsley
½ a small Savoy cabbage
2tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan, season the lamb shanks add to the pan together with the onion and brown all over (you may have to do this in batches if your pan is not large enough. Pour over the water and add the bunch of herbs. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 40 minutes. Add all the vegetables except for the cabbage, bring up to the boil again, reduce to a simmer and cook for a further 40 minutes. Shred the cabbage and add to the cawl, cook for about 5 minutes, then serve.
Cawl can be made throughout the year, just adjust the vegetables according to the season. Chopped runner bean, broad beans and peas are wonderful during early summer, add a little chopped mint at the end of cooking.
During cooking the stock will reduce somewhat, so top up with more water, or some wine. You may also wish to add pulses such as lentils, or beans, pearl barley is also good during the winter months.
Substitute lamb with a piece of gammon, just make sure you soak it before cooking. The broth will make an excellent soup, add peas and fresh mint.
Serve the gammon with creamed potatoes, broad beans and parsley sauce.
Hiroa TR. Maori Somatology. Racial Averages. 1922. J Polynesian Society. 31(121)37-44. Web. 13 Aug 2013. http://www.jps.auckland.ac.nz/document/Volume_31_1922/Volume_31,_No._121/Maori_somatology._Racial_averages,_by_Te_Rangi_Hiroa_(P._H._Buck),_p_37-44/p1
Hunter's Stew. Wikipedia. Web. 7 Aug 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunter%27s_stew
Inch, Thomas. My friendship with Arthur Saxon. Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban. 7 Jan 2009. Web. 8 Aug 2013. http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2009/01/my-friendship-with-arthur-saxon-thomas.html
Inwood K, Oxley L, Roberts E. “Tall, active and well made”- Stature of the New Zealand M ori population, c.1700 - 1976. Paper for presentation at 34th Social Science History Conference. 12 Nov 2009. Web. 13 Aug 2013. https://www2.dti.ufv.br/noticia/files/anexos/php8rp64d_4262.pdf
Scott, Greg. What Sumo eat. Lingualift. Oct 2011. Web. 8 Aug 2013. http://japanese.lingualift.com/blog/what-sumo-eat-wrestlers-diet/