Sunday, December 9, 2007

Beef Stew & Biscuits

On a cold, grey afternoon, what's warmer than homemade soup or stew and bread? Friday night, I wanted the warm aroma of beef stew throughout my kitchen. Since only half of the family is home, I only made a half sized batch of stew. By next Saturday, I'll have all but one back (hooray!), and the oldest son comes home for a week on the 21st! My house will be full and joyous!

(small batch)

2 lbs. steak, cut into small cubes

1 large onion, cut into small pieces
1 tbsp oil

Brown steak & onion in oil.

12 cups water
2 tbsp. tomato paste.
salt to taste
2 large or 4 small potatoes, with skin, grated

Stir the tomato paste into the beef. Add water & potato; bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 3 hours or so. The potatoes will by and large dissolve, thickening the broth

1 large sweet potato, cut into bites
2 carrots, sliced
4 ribs celery, sliced
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup barley

Stir these in; cook for another 30 to 60 minutes, or u
ntil tender. Add 1/2 cup spinach (fresh or frozen) and 1/4 cup chopped parsley. Simmer another 10 minutes. Add freshly ground pepper to taste and serve with bread.


4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup milk

Blend all ingredients. Bake 10 to 12 minutes at 425. Makes about 30.

On another note, my oldest daughter called from Wyoming last week. She has a 1990 Benz, with which I personally have a love-hate relationship. It rides worse than my Suburban, and the climate control is tempermental at BEST, but someone did ram her when she was 16 and she walked away unscathed. When she was 18, she called me in a panic because her car's gauges had gone haywire 4 miles from our house, then it died in the middle of the street. Before I could get there with 2 of her brothers to push the car out of the street, a nice man had parked his pickup truck on the yellow line, effectively blocking both lanes, and pushed her car into a parking lot. I told her it was the alternator, and we waited for AAA to haul it away. Well, about 2 weeks ago, the same thing happened, so she went to Advanced Auto and bought an alternator. With help from the Chilton's book I had purchased for her (so she could check oil and fuses), and with her roommates jacking up her car, disconnecting the battery and removing the giant serpentine belt for her, SHE CHANGED HER OWN ALTERNATOR!!!! Now that's a great girl for you!


Anonymous said...

That settles it; you have to help raise my children! Not only am I impressed with your oldest daughter, but also ... how did you just know it was the alternator??? I imagine science experiments in your household were blue ribbon all the way. On another point, I love making beef stew, especially now that the weather is chilly. I've never grated the potato before and now I'm very intrigued. Does the potato flavor come through? I'll try it next time. How does the sweet potato taste in the stew? Again, never tried it, but will give it a go!

Marjie said...

My father didn't realize that his only child was a girl. He took me hunting and fishing (yes, I'm a great shot, and a card carrying member of the NRA). And, before I was allowed to get my license (and I had to take the test on an ancient pickup with a standard tranny in a snowstorm), I was required not only to be able to change a tire, but to be able to check all fluids, change the oil, points and plugs and distributor cap, open the carbeurator with a screwdriver, and set the timing. I had a generator fail in a car once, and since the alternator replaced the generators in more modern cars, it was a "no brainer". I have more than one mechanic here convinced that I'm a genius (and mostly it's luck and experience), and as long as I can pay the bills I will never again dirty my fingernails fixing something, except in emergency. As to the stew, it does have subtle potato flavor, and the slightly sweeter taste of the carrots and sweet potatoes is a nice contrast in the stew. You should have leftovers for lunch the next day!