By Kevin Williams
My brother attempted to make a beef stew yesterday. He's a single, work-from-home dad to two teenage girls with sometimes finicky food tastes.
I asked Geoff how he made his stew:
"The beef stew was just something I threw together – a Campbell’s (I think) crockpot sauce mix, some beef, onions and mushrooms. I had it in the crockpot for eight hours. Then I added noodles to it," he said.
And his daughter was actually impressed, at least by how it looked.
“It actually looks good,” Lorelei, who just entered eighth grade, said. But Geoff said the accolades stopped after tasting it.
"Later, when I asked her if she liked it, she said, “Eh…”
Geoff chalked up the subpar stew to subpar cooking skills.
"A real cook, I’m sure, with the right seasonings, could have turned it into something special. But I lack the cooking gene," Geoff said.
Still, give him an A for effort and if anyone has any easy crock-pot stew recipes, post them and I'll pass them along to him!
Meanwhile, lets look at some Amish stew recipes, the first recipe comes from the Amish community of Aylmer, Ontario.
- 1 1 /2 pounds hamburger
- 1 /2 cup finely chopped onions
- 1 beaten egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 /2 teaspoon marjoram
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 10½ ounce can condensed tomato soup
- 1 10½ ounce can condensed beef broth
- 4 medium potatoes, pared and quartered
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
- 8 small white onions, peeled
- 2 tablespoons parsley
- Combine the first 7 ingredients.
- Shape into 24 meatballs.
- Brown meatballs in oil in a 4-quart pan.
- Add condensed soups and vegetables.
- Bring to a boil; cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until veggies are tender.
This baked beef stew is another recipe from Aylmer, Ontario. Now keep in mind that the meat most Amish cooks would use would be the freshest imaginable, directly from their home-butchered steer. So there's going to be a lot of taste variation in these recipes depending on where you source your beef.
- 2 pounds beef, cut into cubes
- 1 /4 cup flour
- 1 /4 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 1 /4 teaspoon salt
- 1 /8 teaspoon pepper
- 4 medium onions, sliced
- 6 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
- 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
- 1 1 /2 cups hot water
- 4 teaspoons beef boullion
- 1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
- Butter or margarine
- Mix flour and seasonings and dredge meat in them.
- In a large casserole with a tight fitting lid, arrange in layers, meat and vegetables.
- Add boullion to hot water and add Worchestershire sauce.
- Pour evenly over casserole.
- Dot with butter.
- Cover and bake at 325 for 3 hours.
- Leftover beef broth can be used instead of water and boullion.
This is sort of a American chop suey meets stew recipe found in some Amish kitchens. This was not written in the typical recipe format, more a set of instructions, so here goes:
Take a roast or stew meat, cut into chunks. Trim off fat and cut some potatoes into cubes. Carrots and onions and any vegetables you like, take according to size of your family, and add the the meat and potatoes. Then take 1 can cream of celery soup, ½ soup can of water, 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1 /2 soup can of water and pour over the meat and vegetables. Do not mix. Bake five hours at 275.