Swampyland Stew

A weekend with friends

There are times, mostly in autumn and winter when you have friends from far away visiting, that you don’t need to put haute cuisine on the table and instead you feel they are much more in need of a good rich meal made in a traditional way.

Those are the meals you grew up with and made the way your mother made it for the family when you were young. It’s a way to express to special friends that they are family too, no even more than family. Below you can read how a traditional Dutch Stew is made just to share with a brother and his family who can taste it for the first time in their life. I call it Swampyland Stew, and it’s made with love.


  • 2.5 pounds of Irish Beef
  • 8oz. Butter
  • 2 Bay Leafs
  • 6 Cloves
  • 6 Large Potatoes
  • 1 Red cabbage
  • 1 Cup of Flour
  • 1 Large slice of Soft Ginger Bread
  • 3 Apples
  • 2 Cups of Dark Brown Sugar
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 1 Table spoon of Paprika Powder


Cut the Irish Beef into thick slices (half an inch), dice them if you like (but not necessary) and add salt and pepper. Melt the butter and grill both sides of the beef then put the heat down and add 2 bay leafs and 3 cloves. Cook the beef in butter with half a pint of water added and put the lid back on the pan. Let it simmer for 2 hours.

Cut a red cabbage to very fine bits an add two or three cloves. Let it simmer on a low fire for 1.5 hours.

Take the two large slices of soft ginger bread and crumble it between your fingers in a bowl. After two hours take out the bay leafs and cloves and add the ginger bread crumbs to the beef stew. Add a table spoon of paprika powder and stir.

Add a table spoon of cinnamon and the dark brown sugar to the cabbage and stir it through. Peel three apples and cut them in parts, add them to the cabbage, leave them on top.

Cook potatoes and when they’re done mash them with some milk, add nutmeg if you like.

Take the cooked apples out of the pan with a spoon and put them in a bowl, drain the cabbage. When you drain the cabbage, try to find the cloves and take them out, this is important as you don’t want them to end up in your meal. Put the cooked apples back on top of the cabbage.

Put a cup of hot water in a bowl and stir flour in to it to make a nice smooth mix. Add the flour and water mix to the stew gravy and stir.

After about two hours its ready.

P.S. If you don’t want to use flour mix and ginger bread, mash up a large potato and add that along with a table spoon of cookie spices instead. My grand mother used to make it like that.

Download this recipe in PDF: swampyland_stew.pdf

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