Monday, 3 February 2014

Dwarves' Dinner (#1)

Tonight, I bring you a hearty, belly-filling, blow-your-socks-off recipe inspired by Tolkien's dwarves. With their "short stature with long beards, love for treasure, skill as smiths, and bad temper, " Thorin and his contemporaries are inspired by Eddas and Norse sagas of old (St Clare 1995:64). To maintain a gruff and hardy nature, the most fitting meal imaginable for a dwarf is a delicious, bulky stew.

While Tolkein's inspiration comes from the North, mine comes from the Americas. In my house this dish has become legend for its strengthening and medicinal properties.

Magic Chilli

Recipe is my own. Serves 6.

  • 400g minced beef OR 1 1/2 cups red lentils**. 
    • **Prior to cooking, boil in 6 cups boiling water until absorbed. Drain and rinse thoroughly, then put aside. 
  • 1/2 a large onion, diced
  • 6 decent-sized cloves of garlic, finely chopped or crushed
  • Olive oil
  • One tin chopped tomatoes
  • One tin kidney beans
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • Sprinkling of crushed chillies
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • Sprinkling of mixed herbs
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • Worcester sauce
  • 2tsp cornflour mixed with 1tsp juice of chopped tomatoes.

1. In a large saucepan or cast-iron dish, heat up 3tbsp oil and gently fry the onion and garlic until clear.
2. Add the tomato puree, let it heat up, and then add the beef/lentils. Stir until the meat is browned/the lentils are coated in tomato puree.
3. Add the cumin, mixed herbs and chillies, and stir through. Then pour on the tinned tomatoes and bay leaves. Let simmer on a moderate heat for 10 minutes.
4. Splash in some Worcester sauce, and then add the cornflour mix.
5. Serve with boiled rice or jacket potato, and top with sour cream and cheese. Best enjoyed with a side of garlic bread and a tankard of the finest ale.

Your magnificent beard and swordsmith shop await you!


  1. Gloriana St. Clare (1995) 'An Overview of the Northern Influences on Tolkein's Works' University Libraries Showcase, issue 99, p. 64

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