The pride of the Luncheon Kingdom and straight from Mount Volbano itself, you know I couldn’t stay away from this one for long! Although it may look like a normal chowder there’s definitely more to this volcano cooked stew than meats the eye 😉
When Super Mario Odyssey for the Nintendo Switch was announced it felt like a return to the Mario 64 style 3D-platformers that enthralled me as a kid. But in addition to the excitement of getting to play another amazing looking Mario game, the teaser trailer hinted at something I could have never predicted: an entire kingdom full of giant technicolor food!
Without getting too much into the story of Super Mario Odyssey, the game has a unique focus on travel and exploration. In this game, our globetrotting hero Mario travels far beyond the Mushroom Kingdom into several new kingdoms each sporting their own themes and fun gameplay mechanics. You’ll explore a dense forest sanctuary full of robotic botanists in the Wooded Kingdom and walk the streets dodging taxis in a bustling facsimile of New York City (called New Donk City) in the Metro Kingdom. But, like I said before, it was the Luncheon Kingdom and it’s enormous pot of stupendous stew set atop an active volcano that truly caught my attention, and I’m sure you can understand why.
It goes without saying, that as soon as I finally landed at the foot of Mount Volbano I immediately set about searching the kingdom for clues as to the stew’s ingredients. I was actually surprised by what I found! In addition to the several vegetables that you can find floating in the stew (carrots, corn, potatoes, etc.) but what was really fascinating is the addition of a HUGE salt encrusted hunk of meat that’s been left out on a high plateau to age.
Now there was no way I could just overlook this ‘secret ingredient’ but it’s inclusion did give me some pause. I’ve cooked things in salt before, but never a whole roast! What i came up with was to create a salt crust with salt sugar and water to achieve a ‘wet sand’ consistency (you can also use egg white instead of water as I found out later) and pack it up all around the meat in order to seal it up. I suppose I should also mention that to me, the meat in the game most closely resembles a big hunk of prime rib. Needless to say that would be WAY too expensive to replicate (not to mention use so much salt,) so I went with a more manageable 2 pound top sirloin roast.
After salting up my roast and leaving it to rest for
weeks 3 days, I transferred the whole thing to the oven and hoped for the best! Thankfully, it baked really nicely and wasn’t even overly salted! Nice! I know In the game they just toss the whole cut of raw meat into the stew uncooked, but there is a limit to how far I’ll go for recipe authenticity haha. Yeah, uncooked meat into a finished stew did not seem like the right choice.
Another interesting thing I discovered while researching this recipe, is that ‘white stews’ such as this have history in Japan. Apparently they were introduced in school lunches as a way to get kids to eat more protein and boost their health after the end of WWII. Being somewhat of a comfort food, white stews saw a resurgence in popularity in the 1960’s and remain popular today.
I was really pleased with this recipe and it tastes quite stupendous indeed if I do say so myself haha. This was a dish I made live on twitch during my weekly Lvl.1 Test Kitchen stream so if you’re in to video game food recipes make sure to come by Thursday nights at 8 pm EST! Also, if you try out this stew for yourself, I’d love to hear what you thought of it in the comments below!
P.S. I used baby corn and baby zucchini because the stew is originally so massive! I thought it’d be cool in this normal sized recipe if the veggies looked as if they had been shrunken down.
Note: To be true to the game, I aged the top sirloin roast for three days covered in salt. If you’d rather get your stew going right away, feel free to omit that step and skip ahead to roasting the meat.
+ Stupendous Stew +
makes about 2 quarts
|Beef suitable for roasting*||1 lb|
|Onions||2 medium, chopped|
|Garlic||3 cloves, minced|
|Carrots||2 medium, peeled and sliced|
|Celery||3 stalks, sliced|
|Red Potatoes||1 lb, diced|
|Turnips||2 medium, peeled and diced|
|Baby Carrots||4 oz, chopped|
|Baby Zucchini||4 oz, chopped|
|Chicken Stock||1 quart|
|Butter||½ stick (2 oz)|
|AP Flour||4 Tbsp.|
|Heavy Cream||1 cup|
*such as top sirloin, strip loin, or ribeye
- Sharp knife and a cutting board
- Roasting pan or small cake pan
- 2 large stock pots
- Small sauce pan
- Mixing bowls
- Spatula or wooden spoon
1) If you plan to salt age your steak, start by lining a roasting pan with aluminum foil and placing your cut of beef in the middle. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the first measure of salt and sugar and then moisten it with enough water so that it begins to feel like wet sand (about 4 tbsp. of water.) Use your hands to pack the salt and sugar mixture so that it completely covers the meat and then place the tray into the refrigerator to age for three days.
2) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Once it is up to temperature, place the salt aged meat (still covered with salt) in and bake until the internal temperature reads 140°F (My original recipe was made using a 2 lb roast which took 1 hour and 5 minutes in the oven.)
3) While the meat is cooking, we have plenty of time to complete the other steps of the stew recipe. Chop the onions and add them to a large stock pot set over medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp of butter and cook the onions until they are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
4) Make sure the rest of your vegetables are prepped appropriately and then add them all along with 2 tsp of salt to the stock pot with the onions and garlic. Stir the pot with a spatula or wooden spoon and cook for another two minutes.
5) Once everything’s been heated through, add the quart of chicken stock to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until the veggies give very little resistance when pierced with a fork and then turn off the heat.
6) While the vegetables are cooking, we can start making the cream base to the stew. Start by heating up 2¼ cups of milk in a separate large stock pot over low heat until it begins to steam. The next thing we’ll want to do is make a roux. In a separate pan, melt a ½ stick of butter over medium low heat. Once melted, add in the 4 Tbsp of AP flour and whisk vigorously until smooth and combined. Let this mixture bubble for about a minute while stirring occasionally.
7) Once the milk is hot and the roux is made, we can begin to combine them. Do this by pouring in one ladle of hot milk into the roux at a time and use the whisk to stir until smooth and thickened. Repeat this process a couple more times until you’ve added about ⅔ of the milk to the roux. Now pour all of the roux mixture back into the large stock pot with the remainder of the warm milk and whisk to combine. Add the nutmeg and 1 tsp of salt and congratulations, you’ve made a ‘Bechamel’ one of the five infamous Mother Sauces!
8) By this point the vegetables should be finished cooking. Carefully strain them through a colander and then incorporate them into the bechamel we just made. Thin the stew out with 1 cup of heavy cream and adjust the seasonings as necessary.
9) But wait, what about the steak!? You didn’t think I had forgotten did you? Of course not! Once the meat reaches and internal temperature of 140°F, remove it from the oven and leave it to rest, undisturbed for ten minutes. After the resting period we can cut into the steak and see how we did!
10) All we need to do before adding it to the stew is to brush off any excess salt on the outside and then cut it up into bite sized chunks. Stir the streak into the stew and serve it up volcano hot!
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