Longbottom's Long-Cooked Beef Stew Potion
by Hagrid and Dumbledwarf
Given the troubles poor Neville Longbottom faced as a student at Hogwarts, one might find it hard to believe that he descends from a pure and powerful wizard family. He had been virtually orphaned when Voldemort attacked and incapacitated his parents, and he had been raised by his formidible grandmother until he was old enough to attend the famous Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
As part of his upbringing, "Nan" had Neville share the household cooking duties and he became quite good at it. Cooking became a comfort and a relief to him and he turned to this outlet when he was troubled, especially at school. True, he did have many good friends among his fellow Gryffindors, but he lacked confidence in his abilities and let himself feel put-upon by others. The worst were the Slytherin House students, who teased him mercilessly when his magic did not work properly, and his particular nemesis, Professor Snape, who intimidated him almost to the point of paralysis and catatonia.
On one horrendous day in Potions class, Neville had tried hard to follow Professor Snape's instructions. But no matter how he tried, whenever Snape walked by, Neville would accidentally put too much bicarbonate of soda over the powdered bezoar he'd fastitiously ground in a mortar and pestle. After the second flubb, Neville finally figured out that the bezoar would be acidic when wet (having come from a goat's stomach, after all), and thus a foaming, violent reaction would result if the white powder was not sprinkled in just so ... but Snape's mere proximity would make him shake and his mind would go blank, and somehow too much of the alkaline ingredient went into the cauldron and caused the potion to boil out yet again.
Professor Snape grabbed the contents before it filled the Potions classroom with it's noxious contents, and dumped it down the stone sinks. "Mister Longbottom, if you plan to go through life incompetent and stupid, no one will ever be able to fault me for not trying to correct you," Snape sneered. "Do it again, and you stay overtime until you get it right!"
At last, Neville managed to control the ingredients and Professor Snape gave his approval of the results. Neville fled the room as quickly as he could, and discovered that his day would only get worse: He'd missed dinner!
Later that night, Neville could not sleep no matter how he tried to ignore his rumbling belly. Finally he gave up and went down to the Gryffindor common room to read, but that didn't work either.
He thought about what had happened in Potions earlier. Potions were nothing more than magical recipes and he remembered that he could put together recipes good recipes for good food together without even thinking about it at his Nan's house. So why couldn't he put together a potion in Professor Snape's class?
That got him thinking, "I wish I could make a nice big cauldron of My Nan's Long-Cooked Beef Stew 'Potion'." He paced the common room for a few more minutes thinking about it, then snuck out to the kitchen.
When done, panfry the carrots, minced garlic, onion and celery into the pot. Use a little extra oil if needed. When the onions are almost soft, add basil, oregano, mustard, cumin and whole garlic cloves and cook a further 2 minutes. Add wine and stock, then add water to just cover tje contents of the pot. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer very slowly for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Uncover and continue to simmer for another hour. the meat should be tender at this point and the onions and celery almost dissolved into the stew.
In a skillet, melt the butter, then add flour and make a roux. When the roux is a light brown color, add it to the stew and bring the stew back to a boil to thicken.
Serve with whipped potatoes or bread. Serves 10.
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