I gain much inspiration for my cooking in general from many cultures around the world. It was then a natural extension for me to draw on these influences in postpartum cooking. However more and more I’m wanting to connect with and learn about my own ancestral lineage in regard to food, history and postpartum care. As far as we can tell I have a lot of Irish and Scottish, a bit of English and possibly a little Scandinavian. I found this great book (pictured above) in a local op-shop. The author travelled around Europe in the 1980's looking for old traditional recipes to record and preserve. So in the name of my ancestors from the British Isles I have gained ideas and developed the following dish as I believe it encompasses the essential elements of a postpartum dish; warming, nutrient rich, collagen and fat rich, healing and medicinal herbs, easy to digest.
· Beef or Lamb Bones 6-8 medium sized bones – I source grass fed somewhat local bones from my trusted local butcher. He knows I love good quality bones with a good balance of meat, fat and marrow.
· Barley 1-2cups
· Small clumping onions or Shallots (milder flavoured)
· Kale, Chard or Silverbeet
· Bay Leaves 3-4
· Nettles – dried or fresh
· Rosemary - one sprig
· Garlic – 4-6 cloves
· Oregano, Thyme, Parsley, Marjoram (I used one or a combo of these) fresh or dried- at least a tablespoon
· Nutritional Yeast – 3 tablespoons
· Cornflour 3-4 tablespoons
· Salt to taste
Boil enough water to fill slow cooker until you have about 5cm gap from top and place in slow cooker on high. Add in bones with a splash of apple cider vinegar to help leach minerals from the bones. Leave for 24hours. I usually start this in the evening so leave the setting on high for about 2-3 hours and then turn to low for the night, checking the water level first thing in the morning.
Remove bones and remove any remaining meat, marrow or fat, although most has usually fallen away from bone after 24 hours.
Chop vegetable into large but quite evenly sized pieces and add in potatoes, mushrooms, carrots, onions, garlic, all herbs and salt to slow cooker. Mix cornflour and nutritional yeast in a bowl with warm water to make a paste, add to slow cooker and stir in. Cook for about 30-45 mins or until vegetables are soft and stew has thickened. Mix cornflour and nutritional yeast in a bowl with warm water to make a paste, add to slow cooker and stir in. Add in greens finely diced for last 10 mins and turn off heat.
I have served the stew here with a nice dollop of sour cream and pesto. You can leave the pesto out if you’re dairy sensitive. Although many Mama’s find their tolerance for high fat dairy goes up in this time. The pesto is always changing in my kitchen and is based on what I have. See my pesto recipe.