Celebrity square meals #31: 'Everest stew' by Bear Grylls

Serves four hungry climbers
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Indy Lifestyle Online

On the British Everest expedition I was part of recently, we lived on this sort of stew-cum-risotto. That's every day for three months. One yak makes 90 stews, and we had to kill them, but at least no freezer was needed - it was -20°C outside, you'd just leave a leg outside your tent and it would freeze. But it is truly awful - a sinewy, tough meat, so for the authentic experience you could recreate this with any meat that's tough as old boots. Then again, you might want to use mutton or lamb. I once added nettles which were actually pretty good, but you don't get them growing around the Everest base-camp.

On the British Everest expedition I was part of recently, we lived on this sort of stew-cum-risotto. That's every day for three months. One yak makes 90 stews, and we had to kill them, but at least no freezer was needed - it was -20°C outside, you'd just leave a leg outside your tent and it would freeze. But it is truly awful - a sinewy, tough meat, so for the authentic experience you could recreate this with any meat that's tough as old boots. Then again, you might want to use mutton or lamb. I once added nettles which were actually pretty good, but you don't get them growing around the Everest base-camp.

8 chicken-breast-size hunks of meat from the leg of a yak (you might prefer lamb)
4 onions
6 carrots
Coarse sea salt
Any herbs you can find growing nearby
Garlic, if you have it
5 generous handfuls of brown rice
Red wine - or any local liquor
Yak lard for frying (you can use olive oil)

Make an open fire and grab your cooking pot. Chop the meat into chunks and fry them in the lard. Next add the onions, carrots and garlic and fry for a little longer. Add the salt, herbs and wine. Actually, we only had a bottle of whiskey, for medicinal purposes, but that had to do.

Finally add the rice and an ample amount of snow on top of it all to provide the water. Leave it to cook for as long as you like until it looks like a risotto-ish stew. Repeat for three months, then climb Everest.

Bear Grylls' latest book, 'Facing the Frozen Ocean', is published by Macmillan, £18.99

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