Beef Stew

This may be my all time favorite meal ever!! Seriously tender stewed meat over creamy mashed potatoes…yes please! This is my mama’s recipe and it does not disappoint 🙂This recipe can be made on the stove or in the crock pot. My personal preference is to get it going in the morning and cook it all day in the crock pot. It will make your home smell delicious! I will include directions for both below 🙂

Beef Stew

Serves 4
Prep: 20 minutes Cooking: 2 hours and 10 minutes to all day

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs beef stew meat (I like bite size pieces of meat, so I often cut the stew meat up into smaller pieces)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 cups beef broth (I like Better Than Bouillon Beef Base)
1 Tablespoon (plus a little more) Worcestershire Sauce
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 bay leaves
1 medium onion diced
1 teaspoon white or brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 good pinches of ground cloves
1 pinch allspice
3 large carrots or a couple handfuls of baby carrots, sliced
3 ribs celery, diced
2 Tablespoons cornstarch

Stove:
In a large pot or dutch oven, brown the meat in olive oil over medium-low heat, for about 10 minutes. Add the onion and cook together with the meat until tender, about 5 more minutes. Next, add 2 cups of beef broth (reserve 1 cup for later), worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaves, sugar, pepper, paprika, cloves and allspice. Cover and simmer on low for an hour and a half. After an hour and half, remove the 3 bay leaves. Add the carrots and the celery. Cover and cook an additional 40 minutes. Combine 1/4 cup water with 2 Tablespoons cornstarch and mix until the cornstarch has dissolved. Add the cornstarch mixture to the remaining 1 cup beef broth. Pour the combined mixture into the stew. Cook and stir occasionally until bubbly.
Crock pot:
In a medium pan, brown the meat in olive oil over medium-low heat, for about 10 minutes. Add the onion and cook together with the meat until tender, about 5 more minutes. Next, pour the meat and onion mixture into the crock pot. Add 2 cups of beef broth (reserve 1 cup for later), worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaves, sugar, pepper, paprika, cloves and allspice. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours. After 3 hours in the crock pot, remove the 3 bay leaves. Add the carrots and the celery. Cover and cook until 30 minutes out from dinner time (this would be the same time I would start boiling my potatoes) Combine 1/4 cup water with 2 Tablespoons cornstarch and mix until the cornstarch has dissolved. Add the cornstarch mixture to the remaining 1 cup beef broth. Pour the combined mixture into the stew. Cover and cook about 30 minutes.

Enjoy over mashed potatoes! Yummy delicious! 🙂

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Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup

Tonight we celebrated Luke passing his final language exam for his doctoral studies in Theology!! Woo hoo! He just found out he passed his French exam. Luke has dedicated the last several years to learning, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Spanish and French. Whew! I’m still working on English…how ’bout you?? 🙂 I had this Mexican Chicken and Rice soup planned for dinner and it turned out to coincide perfectly with Luke passing his exam. It’s one of his favorite meals so it was a great treat for him!!Luke went on and on and on about this meal! Had I not forgotten the sour cream, he said it would have been in his top five favorite meals ever!! Wow! I really blew it 😉 This is delicious topped with cheese, broken chips, avocado, cilantro and Luke’s beloved sour cream. We had it with Bisquick’s gluten free biscuits on the side. If you haven’t tried Bisquick’s gluten free mix…it makes delicious biscuits, pancakes and even strawberry shortcake! It is VERY good. Try it! Below is this yummy recipe that my dear talented mother came up with from scratch! Thank you, Mom!

Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup

Serves 4
Prep: 20 minutes Cooking: 1 hour

Ingredients:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut up into bite size pieces
6 cups water
6 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can sweet corn
1 can green chilies
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 cup rice

In a stock pot, sauté the onion and celery in olive oil until tender. Boil 6 cups of water and add 6 teaspoons of bouillon base, mix well. Add the broth mixture to the stock pot and bring to a boil. Then, add the cut up chicken to the boiling broth mixture. Poach the chicken (about five minutes, or until all the chicken turns white). Then add the diced tomatoes, green chilies, sweet corn and carrots. Add cumin, chili powder and cilantro. Bring the soup back to a boil and then simmer for at least one hour. Rice may be added about 30 minutes prior to serving the soup or rice can be prepared separately and added to each serving bowl with the soup mixture.

Note: I prefer to prepare the rice separately. When serving up the soup add a couple of scoops of rice to the bottom of your bowl and pour the soup over the rice. Then top with sour cream, cheese, chips, avocado and cilantro.

Enjoy!!

And last but not least, I just want to say how PROUD I am of my sweet husband!! I feel so blessed to be with such a hardworking, talented and holy man. Thanks be to God! 🙂