I am not sure why I call this Poor Man’s Beef Stew?
Maybe because it really doesn’t matter what type of combination of Beef, Chicken or Sausages you throw in the pot, it will still always come out tasty and delicious.
Or just maybe, every time I make it for my ever-loving-frugal-to-the-core- buys-all-our-meat-wholesale- from-his-old-buddy –Moishe-the-butcher- hubby, I have to fib just a little,and reassure him and say “yes dear, the flanken and sausages were from the freezer”. – the freezer in the butcher shop that is!
But really I think I came up with the name when I realized that most time, the real beauty of creating this stew, is that I don’t even have to go shopping for groceries. Nine times out of ten, I can create a stew using the leftover vegetables in my refrigerator, the beans or barley in my pantry, and the odds and ends of meats, chicken or even fish that I have in my freezer.
But my real point is – this Stew is the perfect winter nights dinner!
Stews are one of the best things that we “dinner providers” have invented. They are heartier than a soup, so can be used without guilt as a full meal; they can be made in advance or the day of, it doesn’t really matter; they take little time and fuss to put together and best of all, most of them are what I like to call “cook-it-and-book-it” meals.
What do I mean? Very simply, I cook these very stews on the stovetop in the morning or afternoon or whenever I get a chance; I refrigerate them when they are done; and during the day, I keep all the booked appointments on my schedule and then I have the luxury of coming home, pulling the stew out of the fridge, and reheating it for a delicious dinner. They ALWAYS taste great – sometimes even better hours later – and my day was not consumed with the “What’s for dinner?” question.
ANYTHING goes. Have only a little chicken and meat leftover? No problem – combine it for a great gumbo! Just have a zucchini, tomatoes, and maybe a can of chickpeas in the pantry? Fantastic – you’ve got a great vegetable stew. Don’t have broth or stock? Worry not – water, wine, and even juices can make great stew ingredients.
Now I know that many of you might not be as daring as I am when it comes to food experimentation. But tonight, I challenge you to create a great stew using ingredients you have already in your house. If you are up to the challenge, you will see how liberating and how tasty your result can and will be.
Stew A Way My Friends!
Poor Man’s Beef Stew
1 large onion
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. of each of the following spices: cumin, ground mustard, ginger, garlic powder, sweet paprika, smoked paprika, turmeric, parsley
kosher salt & black pepper to taste
1-2 lb package of flanken (or any beef)
2 stalks celery, diced
2 large carrots. diced
5-6 sweet Italian sausage, cut into bite size pieces ( I use either Meal-mart or jack gourmet brand – in freezer section)
6 medium size red potatoes, cleaned, and cut into cubes with skin on
2 cup good red wine
1 cup beef or chicken broth
1 cup frozen peas
3/4 cup Favorite BBQ Sauce ( I tested a great sauce that I had gotten free at this years kosherfest)
In a large dutch oven on med-high sauté your onions in the olive oil for about 3-4 minutes. Add all the spices and mix well, and sauté for another minute or two.
Add the flanken and brown on both sides for about 2 minutes per side. After browning, remove from pot and set aside ( I use my lid as plate)
Then add the carrots and celery to the pot. Mix and sauté vegetables for about 2-3 minutes. Add the cut up sausages and potatoes sauté everything for another 3-4 minutes.
Deglaze your pot by adding the red wine, use your wooden spoon to scrape up all the good brown bits that are sticking to the bottom of the pan and mix everything well. Bring the wine to a slow simmer and add back the flanken pieces to the pot.
Add the frozen peas and then pour in the the broth and the BBQ sauce. Mix everything in well.
Cover pot and lover flame to medium low and cook on stove top for about 2 hours.
Serve in a bowl with some delicious bread on the side.