Well, when college kids discover as they're leaving to on a 6 hour ride to someone's house, so they'll only be 2 hours from NYC that the career fair they're going to was actually Friday instead of Saturday, what do they do? They go anyway, of course. What's the sense of letting facts stand in the way of a perfectly good road trip?
Friday's roast beef and potatoes was just as well received as anticipated. Saturday was 39, windy and rainy, so beef stew seemed like exactly the right meal for a bunch of hungry, cold dudes. There were no leftovers, so I guessed right.
BEEF STEW FOR 8
3 pounds steak, cut into small pieces
3 large potatoes, grated
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup barley
2 large tomatoes, cut in bite sized pieces, or 1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups frozen chopped spinach
small amount vegetable oil
12 cups water
6 beef bouillon cubes
2 tbsp Worcestershire powder
2 tbsp tomato powder
1 tbsp salt, or to taste
Heat the oil in a large stockpot, then add the beef and onion. Cook until browned, then add the shredded potatoes, water and bouillon cubes. Bring to a slow boil, then simmer about 2 hours, until the potatoes are partially dissolved. Sprinkle in the Worcestershire powder, tomato powder, and salt; add the carrots and barley. Cook another 30 minutes, then add the tomatoes and spinach. Cook 10 to 15 minutes, and serve piping hot.
When I have sweet potatoes in the house, I like to add them, but I didn't have any this week.
During the last 15 minutes of cooking your stew, whip up a batch of these biscuits. They are not as pretty as the classic Southern baking powder biscuits, because I don't roll them out and cut them, but they disappear just as fast.
BAKING POWDER DROP BISCUITS
2 cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Stir together the dry ingredients in one bowl. Whisk together the wet ingredients in a measuring cup. Pour the wet into the dry, and stir well; the dough will be very stiff and lumpy. Drop by spoonsful onto greased baking sheets. Makes 10 to 12.
Of course, I quadrupled this, and had 45 biscuits. Thor got one. And while Thor is dispirited because his girl went back to college, and Jeffrey and his friends were only here a very short time, Thor is thrilled because Mike and his girlfriend are visiting from Carolina. Oh, the excitement of having your people around!