February 15, 2011

How You Like It Stew

I love soup. It's the ultimate on-a-budget, clean-out-the-veggie-drawer meal. Our favorite is a simple recipe that gets a new make-over every time. It's a simple basic recipe that Grandma used; beef, carrots and potato. I love it just like that. But lets see what else we can do with it, yes?

{warning, this post contains photos of raw beef. just a little courtesy notice}

This is where I start. Some stew meat, carrots, salt, pepper and seasonings.
Beginnings of Green Chile Stew

Basic Beef Stew. Beef, Carrots, Potato.
Beef Stew

You can add anything you want and that's why I love this recipe. Yellow squash and zucchini, frozen corn or...

Green Chile. We purchase 2 large sacks of it in August, bag it and freeze it. I've never used canned green chile, but this is where you would add one can. Or...

Cabbage. I feel a little MexIrishcan when we add cabbage.
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Come join Soup-a-Palooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by Bush’s BeansHip HostessPillsbury and Westminster Crackers. 
I'm looking forward to perusing them all and add them to my Pin boards for future cold days.

It's blatantly obvious I'm not a recipe writer, not to mention I've never measured a single thing when I make this.

How You Like It Beef Stew

1.5 lbs Stew Meat (you can save money by buying a roast and cutting it into 1-inch cubes)
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
1tsp Ground Cumin
1tsp Ground Coriander
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
4 Carrots, Cut (I don't dice them because I like bigger bites)
2 Potatoes Cut
16 oz Chicken Broth
Extra Veggies: Green Chile (fine diced), Frozen Corn, Yellow Squash (small cubes), Zucchini (small cubes), Cabbage (Cut, not shredded)

There are many different ways to go about this. I don't think I've ever made it the same way twice. I usually begin with some olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot (my dutch oven) and add the carrots for a minute or two with some salt and pepper. Just to slightly caramelize one side of them. (does that make any sense? lol) 
After one side of the carrots are browned I put in the stew meat, green chile, cumin, coriander and garlic. 
But sometimes, to be a rebel, I do this all backwards and put the meat in first, then add the carrots.
Once the beef and carrots are happy in the pot, no matter how they got there, I add a can of chicken broth. I like chicken broth in my beef because it keeps the broth light but adds a little flavor. Add water to cover the beef/carrots or carrots/beef.
I let it simmer for about 30 minutes before I add the potatoes. Skin on (my husband) or skin off (me), doesn't matter. 
Let simmer for an additional 30 minutes.
At this point I add in any additional veggies: Green Chile, Frozen Corn, Yellow Squash, Zucchini, Cabbage
Most of the extras I add in are what I would call 'soft' veggies. They don't require a lot of time to cook and too much time and they would fall apart.
Let simmer an additional 15 minutes.
Serve with garlic bread.

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