If you are one of the lucky folks to have read the sample chapters of the first novel of The Dragonsoul Saga, you will remember the stew served within the Sleeping Gryphon. I thought I would give you the secret recipe.
1 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 lb. beef sirloin, cut into bite size cubes
1 small can tomato paste
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 large carrots, diced
X medium red jalapenos (only as many as you might enjoy, start with 1, I use 3, 0 is OK)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 stalks of celery, diced
4 large parsnips, diced (potatoes will work too)
1 cup fresh cooked or frozen corn kernels
3 bay leaves, or chopped fresh herbs of your taste (oregano, thyme)
Salt and pepper to taste
In the bottom of a large pot (preferably an old cast iron kettle over a banked fire — you can use a saucepan and a stove), sear the beef in the olive oil over high heat, seasoning with salt and black pepper. When the beef reaches a golden brown, add the tomato paste, and stir to mix. Add the onion, carrot, peppers, and celery. Season and stir. Make an open hole in your vegetables to open up a space on the bottom of the pan. Toss the garlic directly onto the hot pan. Let it sit a few seconds then stir. Cook 2 minutes. Add the parsnips, corn and herbs. Stir.
Here you can season with any extras. Tallen often used a sauce very similar to Worcestershire, and his home-made spicy pepper sauce.
Cover with beef stock, chicken stock, good beer, or seasoned water (or any combination of those 4), and bring to a boil. Set heat to low, and cook 1 hour (or longer). Thicken with more tomato paste if necessary.
Serve with fresh bread and warmed butter, just like they do at the Sleeping Gryphon.
This will warm your stomach and your heart on a cool spring evening. And it will fortify your stomach for a long journey into adventure.