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Winter Vegetable Stew (Gyuvetch)

January 4, 2012

If by any chance you find yourself having consumed too much meat and potatoes this winter, switching to a hearty multi-vegetable dish may be a good idea. Originally from Bulgaria, gyuvetch or гювеч is made in a clay pot and slowly baked in the oven. There are many regional variations of this dish, the most typical being the non-vegetarian version, which includes chunks of pork cooked with the vegetables with the addition of some red or white wine. My version is a result of a few transformations as it skips on the meat and due to the large amount of vegetables used, is prepared in a large metal pot with a lid on the stove. A slow-cooker or a crock-pot can also be used to prepare it. If you are making a small amount, try making it the classic way in a clay pot in the oven because the baking will bring out the vegetables’ natural flavors to an additional degree.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onions
  • 5 potatoes
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 eggplant
  • 8 tomatoes
  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 green peppers
  • 200g green beans
  • 200g okra
  • 500g peas
  • 1 cup parsley
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt

Bulgarian recipes are very specific about the exact amount of each vegetable and meat, if included. However, each recipe you read will vary the amount leading the chef to the conclusion that it depends on the produce availability and one’s preference on how much to include. From my experience, it does not really matter how much of each vegetable you put in the stew. If you prefer a more sweet taste to the gyuvetch, then reduce the amount of green vegetables and put more red and orange ones, such as red peppers and carrots. You also don’t need to include all the vegetables from the above list, as they may be difficult to find. The general idea is that if you don’t find some of them in their fresh form on the market, try to look for them in a can at your grocery store. I used canned okra and peas, the former because I couldn’t find fresh okra and the latter because I prefer the taste of canned peas. If using anything in a can though, add at the very end of cooking in order to prevent the vegetables from disintegrating.

1. Cutting all the vegetables – chop onion, cut the rest of the vegetables in larger rather than smaller chunks, not in thin slices or wheels, except the carrots.

 

2. Adding and cooking the vegetables step-by-step – in a large pot at medium heat cook chopped onion in olive oil for 5 minutes, add paprika, stir;

 

Add potatoes, carrots and zucchini, cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally;

 

Add eggplant, stir; add tomatoes (canned or fresh);

 

Stir, cover with lid and cook for 20 minutes;

Add green beans (string or flat), red and green peppers, reduce heat to low and let simmer for another 20 minutes;

 

Uncover, add salt and stir; allow to slow-cook covered again until all the vegetables have shrunk and softened, 10-20 more minutes; finally, add fresh parsley, canned okra, and peas to the pot, stir well and cover to slow-cook for 10-15 minutes.

   

3. Serving and storing – turn off stove and allow stew to rest covered for 10-15 minutes before serving; can store in refrigerator for 3-4 days and up to a week.

~ And don’t forget to invite your vegetarian friends to this vegetable paradise! ~

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2 Comments
  1. mmmm that is a lot of goodness in one bowl!! Just what we need for January 🙂 delicious!

    • Hi Becky!
      Thanks for stopping by and for the comment. It means a lot coming from a vegetarian (I myself am not one but love veggie dishes and I also have several vegetarian friends)!
      I just had the chance to visit your blog and like it a lot! I’ve never tried the enigmatic looking cauliflower, is it different from the white one? Your parsnip soup sounds delicious, I will try it and am signing up for your blog right now. We’re expats from the US living in Belgium so if you’re passing through, let us know.
      ~Maria

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