Lola's Victory Garden

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Superb Cowboy Stew

Now that the garden is on hiatus, I thought I would start posting some frugal recipes. I've reserved several books from the library on Depression era cooking and I can't wait for them to arrive at my library so I can check them out, try out some recipes and share them with you.

This recipe I got from Stephanie @ A Year Of Slow Cooking, which by the way is an awesome site for crockpot recipes. Stephanie got it from The Adventures Of The Headless Family.

I've made this several times and it's always a hit with our kids. In fact the other night night when I made this our daughter said it was 'great'. Then our son said "No, it's superb. That's better than excellent."
I made several modifications based on what I had on hand. First off, I was dividing a 5 pound package of ground meat. To stretch it further, I took about 3/4 of a pound and added about a 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of Oatmeal. Threw it in my KitchenAid mixer with the mixing blade on a low speed to combine it. (I then browned the meat/oatmeal mixture as usual. No one could tell I did this and it did not affect the flavor.) Then I mixed the rest of the meat in 3 batches with 2 Eggs, Oatmeal, Worchestershire Sauce, a bit of Catsup, Onion Powder and Garlic Powder and formed part of the meat into 1/3 pound Hamburger Patties using a Hamburger Press. I made 5 1/3 pound burgers and the rest of the meat went into a very large loaf pan for meatloaf.

I only had Diced Tomatoes with Onion and Peppers, so I used that.
No stores near me carry Ranch Beans, so I substituted Chili Beans. (Use the beans and the sauce.)
I used a 4 ounce can of El Zapato Tomato Sauce.
1 can of Butter Beans, drained.
1 Can of Garbanzo Beans.
A sprinkle of Cayenne Pepper Powder (about a 1/4 teaspoon.).
Instead of adding water I used the liquid from 1 can of Potatoes.
I was out of corn, so I skipped it.

Here is the recipe from A Year Of Slow Cooking:

Cowboy Stew
1 pound browned hamburger (can use turkey)
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 can tomato sauce
1 can diced Italian seasoned tomatoes
1 can corn, drained
2 cans whole baby potatoes, drained
1 can tomatoes with green chilies
1 can Ranch Style beans (with the baked beans in the grocery store)
1 cup water
sliced jalapeno peppers for garnish (optional)

This makes a lot. Make sure that your crockpot is at least 5qts.

Brown the hamburger with the chopped garlic cloves on the stove top. Drain the fat. Let sit in the pan for a bit to cool.

Open all of you cans, and dump them into the crockpot. Drain the corn and the potatoes, but add the rest of the can liquid to the crockpot.

After adding all of the can contents, add the browned meat and a cup of water. Stir with a spoon to mix a bit.

Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high for 4-5. Soup and stew tastes better the longer you cook it, so opt for the longer cooking time if you can.

Garnish with sliced jalapeno peppers, if desired. (Both the kids and I added lots of jalapeno peppers, but that photo didn't turn out.)

You can serve this with homemade biscuits or even better...cornbread.

Lola's Victory Garden


*lynne* said...

yum, that looks and sounds good! :) Thanks for the crockpot size warning - mine is on the small side, as I was reminded the hard way while trying out my lamb shank recipe recently. This cowboy stew, tho, wow, I really want to try it out! Now where's that shopping list...?


The Crazy Suburban Mom said...

I love recipes like this... I totally grab up cookbooks from this era when I can find them too! A lot of people dont like the flavors but you know, for my kid who was always picky the simple flavors always worked.