When it’s winter my thoughts always turn to comfort food. Those hearty dishes that warm your tummy and your soul.
Here’s a couple of my favorite comfort food recipes:
Michele’s Beef Stew
You can add any manner of veggies to this stew including corn, peas, beans, etc. I like my veggies cut into thick, rustically chopped hunks rather than diced.
1-½ lbs. of cubed stew meat
12 cups water
4 beef bouillon cubes
3 bay leaves
1 cube butter
6 cloves chopped garlic
1 tsp. salt
4 cups baby carrots (or a 2 lb. bag)
3 cups celery (coarsely chopped)
2 large sweet onions (coarsely chopped)
4 Russet potatoes (coarsely chopped, about 5-6 cups)
Cut stew meat into 1-½ inch cubes and season with Morton Nature’s Seasoning blend. Coat in flour (also seasoned with salt and pepper or more Morton’s).
In a large stew pot, Dutch oven, or other large pot, melt butter and brown the flour-coated stew meat.
Add 12 cups water to the browned meat, bring to a boil, then immediately reduce to a simmer. Add bay leaves, garlic and bouillon cubes. Cover and simmer 2-3 hours until beef is tender.
Add salt and baby carrots (or sliced carrots), chopped celery, chopped large sweet onions and 4 large russet rustically chopped potatoes. Cook until tender, (approx. 1 hour). Remove bay leaves. Serve with sliced, buttered French bread.
Note: The broth will be very thin. If you want a thicker broth, make a roux (equal parts butter and flour) and add to the broth as it simmers. Cornstarch is a good thickener, too. Use 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water for each cup of medium-thick sauce. Be sure to thoroughly mix the cornstarch and water together, then pour into your sauce. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.
Family Crock Pot Bean Stew
This family recipe is just the ticket for a chilly day. I serve it with buttered French bread and pour some of the stew directly onto the bread and eat it almost like an open-faced sandwich.
1 55-ounce can of Bush’s Baked Beans Original Recipe
1 lb. ground beef
1 large sweet onion, coarsely chopped
2 cans (14.5-ounce size) S&W Stewed Tomatoes – Italian Recipe
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. salt
Cooked sliced bacon to crumble on top (to taste)
(Optional, shredded cheddar cheese for garnish).
Mix together into a crock pot the beans, browned ground beef (make sure to drain the grease after browning), stewed tomatoes, brown sugar, garlic and seasonings. Be sure to mix well.
Cover and cook and low for 3-4 hours. Add onions and cook for another 1-2 hours. Make sure it’s heated through.
Brown bacon and cool. Crumble bacon on top of stew immediately before serving. Garnish with shredded cheese, if desired.