I never ate quinces as a child. My grandparents didn’t grow them. We didn’t even buy them, so this fruit was quite unknown to me, almost forgotten. But recently our family friend Dušan gave me five quinces from his own harvest. Five quinces – is it little or much? When you imagine that one such quince weighs 400 grams, there are more than enough of them!
I also met quinces on my travels, in Moldova. First, we found them nicely arranged in a basket in an ethnographic museum and then in the market as well.
I learned that quinces are a symbol of love and fertility in Moldova. The guide at the museum even tried to convince us that the fruit Eva gave to Adam from the forbidden tree was a quince. That is why this fruit is also called “golden apple”.
Nevertheless, quinces remind me more of a pear than an apple. Those from Dušan fascinated me not only with their size but also with their shape – such a wild irregularity. Vincent van Gogh was probably thinking the same when painting that fruit in one of his works.
The question also arose with the gifted quinces – what to do with them? The internet helped a bit, but also my imagination and improvisation. And so a recipe was created, which I will be happy to share with you. The dish had an excellent taste and aroma!
Beef Stew in Red Wine with Quinces
700 g of beef
2 cloves garlic
1 larger carrot
150 g celery
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp oil
black pepper, salt
2 tbsp ground red pepper
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 stem of celery
150 ml of red wine
500 ml of meat broth
Cut the meat into smaller pieces, the onion, garlic, carrots and celery into small cubes. Clean the quinces, peel them and cut them into quarters and remove the kernels. Heat the oil in a pot and fry the meat properly on all sides. Take the meat out, remove the excess foam and fry the onion and garlic. Add meat, carrots and celery and fry for a while. Stir in tomato puree, cover with half the broth, add celery stem, bay leaf, black pepper, salt and red pepper. Pour the wine and simmer covered for about 2 hours, mix and add broth as needed. About 40 minutes before finishing, add the cut quinces to the meat. Finally, season with salt and pepper. Serve with boiled potatoes and cranberry compote.
Note: the quinces remain mixed with the meat, I took them out and placed them separately on the plate just for the photo. I recommend cutting them into quarters or similar larger pieces – if a person doesn’t like quinces, you can easily pick them out and serve the dish without them.
Text: © Copyright Ingrid, Travelpotpourri
Fotos: © Copyright Ingrid, Travelpotpourri