Posts Tagged With: stew

Cooking from Memories

pork tomatillo stew

Memoir is an interesting genre. The work is autobiographical, but the author chooses to emphasize a specific theme and/or focus on a shorter period of their life rather than telling their whole story. I enjoy reading memoirs and biographies, because I can learn about worlds that are completely different than mine without leaving earth. Sometimes I am tempted to covet their wealth and opportunity.  At other times the character’s struggle and despair are such that I am reminded to be thankful for the eternal hope that I have.

One of my favorite popular authors is Ruth Reichl. When she shares stories from her past you can feel along with her. When she describes the aromas, flavors, and textures of an amazing meal you are as satisfied as if you had been sitting at the table with her.

Recipes are sprinkled through Reichl’s books. This morning I took inventory of the ones that are included in Tender at the Bone.  A stew made from pork and tomatillos was especially interesting to me, because the bag of tomatillos from Produce Junction was larger than I had needed for a large batch of green sauce.

Ruth instructs the cook to prepare the stew on the stovetop. However, my Saturday plans wouldn’t allow me to babysit a simmering stew for two hours. Instead, after browning the pork and sauteeing the garlic and onions, I tossed everything into a crockpot.

Four hours later, we were home and ready for supper. My husband said the “juice” was good, but he isn’t so sure about the beans being included. I can’t say that the stew was amazing, but I can’t say that it is the recipe’s fault, either. When I cut the recipe in half some of the ratios didn’t quite match.   Also, I don’t keep “dark beer” on hand, so my blackstrap molasses substitute certainly affected the flavor.

 

Categories: Books, Food and drink, Pork, stew | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crockpot Cowboy Stew

It seemed a good idea to have something prepared in case we invited people over after church on Sunday night. People stand between the pews and talk for even an hour after the service has ended. Sometimes we get hungry and have to decide whether to abandon the conversation or to invite friends to continue it over something to eat.

For these sort of situations a crockpot meal is a good option. You can prepare it ahead of time, and the dish isn’t likely to be over or under done when you come home.

Also, the heat and humidity have been high these past few weeks, so it was best not to fry, boil, or bake something for guests.

The following recipe explains what I put together on Sunday afternoon.  We did stay talking to people after church, but we didn’t end up inviting anyone over. Alas. It might have been too spicy for most folks.  We like it a lot, though. It is spicy, but the flavor of the beef and the red wine still come through. Leftovers served well for lunch the next day.

IMG_3173Cowboy Stew

serves 4-5

INGREDIENTS

1 large onion, sliced
1 large jalapeno, thinly sliced
1 T garlic, minced

1 lb. Aldi beef for carne picada
2 T flour
1 T chili powder
Valentina’s fruit seasoning (citrusy chile flakes)
1/4 t dried oregano flakes

14.5 oz can Aldi salsa-style fire roasted tomatoes

1/2 c red wine
1 beef boullion cube + 1 c water
2 T tomato paste

2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch slices (2 cups)

INSTRUCTIONS

Place the onion, jalapeno, and garlic in the bottom of the crockpot. In a separate bowl or large plastic bag, mix the beef with the flour, chili powder, Valentina’s seasoning, and oregano. Toss these ingredients until the beef is coated. Put this beef mixture on top of the vegetables in the crockpot.

Pour the tomatoes over the beef.

In a small dish, combine the red wine, beef boullion, and tomato paste.  Pour this into the crockpot. Do Not Stir.

Let the stew cook on High for  4 1/2 hrs.

Right before you are ready to serve the stew, fry the zucchini in oil or butter. Add the fried zucchini to the stew and stir it before ladeling it into dishes. If you prefer not to fry the zucchini, the recipe book actually said to just add it to the crockpot during the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Serve with sour cream.

First try I served with it arepas.  Could be good with mashed potatoes. The book recommended creamy polenta.

 

Based on a ecipe called Cowboy Stew Over Creamy Polenta from Heartland Cooking Crockery Favorites Traditional American Recipes  by Frances Towner Giet

 

Categories: beef, Food and drink, Meat, Soup | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Break for Lunch

beef stew with chili beans and corn chips

This morning my alarm didn’t go off. When my husband gently nudged me to mention that I was sleeping in, I was shocked to see that the clock showed I had ten minutes to get to work. Since I had laid out my clothes the night before, I was able to run out the door and clock in only 3 minutes late.

However, I didn’t have time to put things into a crockpot before leaving in order to let the flavors meld for a few hours. The night before I had seared the beef stew pieces and simmered them in turkey broth with some hot green sauce, leftover from an Indian restaurant.

When I got home I just threw some canned tomatoes and chili beans, frozen corn, and the beef with broth together. While the stew heated through, I combined some avocado with lime juice and salt.  A bit of shredded cheese on top made a simple side.  I finished off the stew with a bit of the shredded colby jack and chopped cilantro.

The meat wasn’t as tender as I might have liked, but overall the lunch was successful.

Categories: beef, Food and drink | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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