Star chef Corey Lee's rustic French farmhouse stew is packed with hearty winter vegetables, but it's topped with gorgeous pan-seared scallops.
Slideshow: More Hearty Stews
1/4 cup rendered duck fat or bacon fat
1 smoked ham hock
1 medium onion, chopped
2 small carrots, coarsely chopped
1 small turnip, thickly sliced
1/4 small head of savoy cabbage, shredded, plus 1/4 head cut into 2-inch pieces
4 ounces mushrooms, thickly sliced
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup dry white wine
3 thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
10 whole black peppercorns
6 cups chicken stock
12 baby turnips, peeled
12 baby carrots, peeled
18 pearl onions, peeled
1/4 small head Romanesco broccoli or cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
One 15-ounce can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons Banyuls vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon rendered duck fat (optional) or canola oil
6 ounces slab bacon, sliced 1/2 thick and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 pounds medium sea scallops
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon thinly sliced parsley
How to Make It
Step 1 Make the stew
In a pot, heat the duck fat. Add the ham hock and cook over moderate heat, turning, until browned, 5 minutes. Add the chopped onion and carrots, sliced turnip, shredded cabbage, mushrooms and garlic and cook, stirring, until lightly golden, 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until absorbed. Stir in the thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns and stock; simmer until reduced to 4 cups, 1 hour. Strain into a bowl and wipe out the pot. Return the broth to the pot and bring to a low simmer. Add the baby turnips and carrots and pearl onions, cover and simmer until almost tender, 15 minutes. Add the cabbage pieces and Romanesco, cover and cook until tender, 10 minutes. Stir in the beans and vinegar and season with salt; keep warm.
Step 2 Cook the scallops
In a nonstick skillet, heat the duck fat, if using. Add the bacon and cook over moderate heat, until browned; transfer to paper towels. Strain the fat into a bowl. Wipe out the skillet.
Step 3 Cook the scallops
Heat half of the reserved bacon fat in the skillet. Season the scallops with salt and cook over moderately high heat until golden on the bottom, 3 minutes. Turn the scallops and add 1 tablespoon of the butter. Cook, basting the scallops, until just opaque; transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining fat, scallops and butter. Stir the parsley into the stew, ladle into bowls and top with the scallops and bacon.
The broth and vegetables can be refrigerated separately for 1 day; reheat them together.
Banyuls vinegar is an aged sweet wine vinegar from the south of France. Cave de L'Abbé Rous makes a very good version; it's available from amazon.com.
This luxurious stew calls for a wine with weight, but also lithe acidity, which is the very definition of good white Burgundy. Pour a Meursault.
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