Picture it….a thick, warm, meaty and flavorful beef stew. The kind that sticks to your ribs and stays there for awhile while you bask in it’s yumminess. Stews are the go-to meal when you:
- Don’t know what else to make.
- Only have handfuls of veggies.
- Are freezing on a cold winter day.
- Are married to a meat & potatoes kinda guy or
- Want to have your meal fit into your budget.
Any and all of the above are great reasons to make a stew. They are so incredibly simple, frugal and delicious. Serve with a salad and hearty bread, fresh fruit and biscuits or just by itself with a shovel. It’s all good.
You really can’t mess up a stew because the longer you cook it, the more tender the meat becomes. There is one thing…if you do forget about it for an hour or two past it’s prime, you can then use a spoon for your veggies instead of a fork.
Here’s what I do:
- Grab a roast, any roast. Chuck roasts are great for this. Then put it in a deep oven-proof pot (that has a tight fitting lid).
- Rub the top of the roast with any seasonings you like (not a lot, just for the flavor). I add my homemade veggie bouillon.
- Pour a can of condensed mushroom soup on top, along with 1/2 a cup of water. Sprinkle some dried onion soup (about 1/2 a packet will do the trick) on top.
- Quarter an onion and layer that on top of your meat.
- Cover with your lid, cook at 350 degrees for about 2 hours (this would be for a 4-5 lb roast).
- Add any other “hard” veggies you may be using (potatoes, carrots, etc).
- Cook for another 30 minutes.
- Add any “soft” veggies you may be using (green beans, corn, etc).
- Cook another 30 minutes or so.
You should be testing the meat when you add the veggies to check tenderness. If you’re not happy with the level of sauce, add some more water, leftover gravy more soup…whatever you have on hand. Oh…and if you don’t have parsley to sprinkle on top of the end result (just for pretty) use celery leaves. Even the smallest pinch of nutrition helps!
Once the meat is tender and the veggies are done….it’s stew time! This meal is so great when you have one or two potatoes, a handful of baby carrots, 1/2 a bag of frozen beans, etc. The stew I just made cost me a total of $5.04. I bought the roast on discount ($3.47), used 1 can of soup, 1/2 packet of onion soup mix, 1/2 bag of frozen green beans, 3 potatoes and a handful of baby carrots that were left in the bag. We’ll get dinner tonight and two lunches out of this stew. I’ll serve it with multi-grain bread spread with butter and drizzled with honey.
So seriously, when in doubt…make stew. You simply can’t go wrong.