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Exploring Womanhood > Heart of the Home > Cooking > Stews & Soups

Homemade Stews
by Cindy Sanchez

Homemade stews can vary from those that take a long time to "stew" to those that are a quick fix. No matter the type you choose to make, stew seems to have the power to warm the body and soul. This winter add a little variety to standard stew.

Beef Stew & Dumplings

4 large potatoes peeled and cubed
1 large onion peeled and chopped
2 pounds lean stew beef cubed
6 carrots scrubbed and sliced in 1 inch pieces
1 or 2 red topped turnips,peeled and cubed
4 stalks celery washed trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup fresh green beans, washed trimmed and broken into 1 inch long pieces
1 26 oz.can Italian style tomatoes
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons beef bouillon granules
or 2 beef bouillon cubes or 1 16 oz. can beef broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon sweet basil
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

Dredge beef cubes in flour and season with salt and pepper, place in medium skillet with olive oil that has been heated, brown beef on all sides and remove from heat. Place vegetables in large stock pot or large crock pot, add bouillon or broth, Worcestershire and spices and enough water to cover vegetables. Bring to a boil and reduce heat let cook about 20 minutes and add meat. Deglaze the skillet with 1/2 cup of Burgundy wine or water and add to pot. Cook another 20 minutes. Add dumplings.

Serves 6-8.

Dumplings
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 Tablespoons shortening
1 Tablespoon parsley flakes
3/4 cup milk

Cut shortening into flour, parsley, baking powder, salt with pastry blender or fork, add milk and drop by tablespoonfuls into hot stew, be careful not to splash. Cover and cook for 18 minutes without lifting cover. Serve immediately.

Chicken Stew with Pepper and Pineapple

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2" pieces
4 medium carrots, cut into 1" pieces
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger root
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon red pepper sauce
1 can pineapple chunks in juice, drained and juice reserved (8 ounces)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 medium bell pepper, cut into 1" pieces

Mix all ingredients except pineapple, cornstarch and bell pepper in a 4-6 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours (Or high heat for 3-4 hours) or until vegetables are tender and chicken is no longer pink in center. Mix reserved pineapple juice and cornstarch until smooth; gradually stir into chicken mixture. Stir in pineapple and bell pepper. Cover and cook on high setting about 15 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Serves 4.

Cocido (Spanish Stew)

2 cans garbanzo beans (or chick peas)
a 4 pound stewing hen, quartered
2 pounds beef short ribs
1 pound smoked ham
5 quarts water
1 pound kale or fresh spinach, washed
2 leeks
2 large carrots sliced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 Tablespoon salt
2 Chorizos (Spanish sausages)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
2 cups raw rice
2 teaspoons Spanish Paprika
2 teaspoons tomato paste

If dried chick peas are used, wash them, cover with water and bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes, remove from the heat, and let soak 1 hour. Drain. Combine the dried chick peas (if canned chick-peas are used, add with the sausages) chicken, beef, ham, and water in a deep, large pan. Bring to a boil, skim the top, and cook over low heat 1 1/2 hours. Tie the kale or spinach and leeks with white thread. Add to the pot with the carrots, tomatoes, and salt. Cook 30 minutes, then add the sausages. Cook 30 minutes longer.

Transfer meats to a heated platter, cover, and keep hot. Strain the broth, reserving all the vegetables and chick- peas; put on the platter with the meat. Heat the oil in a sauce pan; saute the onions 5 minutes. Mix in the rice until translucent. Add the paprika, tomato paste, and 4 cups of the broth; cover and cook over low heat 20 minutes or until rice is tender and dry.

To serve the cocido, pour the remaining hot broth into a tureen. Arrange the meats on a platter surrounded with portions of chick-peas and kale. Heap the rice in a deep serving dish. The soup is eaten first, then the meats and rice.

Serves 6-10.

Green Bean Stew

1 pound bacon, chopped
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 pound white onions, peeled and chopped
24 ounces V-8 vegetable juice
2-1 lb cans tomato, chopped with juice
2-1 lb cans green beans (any but French style) with juice
2 pounds white potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
2 cups beef broth
salt to taste

Brown the bacon with 1/2 tsp black pepper until crisp, then remove from grease and set aside. Add the onion to the pan and saute until it caramelizes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, allowing the potatoes to stay on the bottom of the pot. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Uncover and simmer off some of the liquid.

Kielbasa-Vegetable Stew

1 medium red onion, cut into thin wedges
1 can (14.5oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups red potatoes, cut into chunks
2 medium carrots, cut
1/2 lb fully cooked Polish sausage or kielbasa, cut into slices
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 cups cabbage or coleslaw mix

Spray 12-in. skillet with nonstick cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Cook onion in skillet 2-3 min, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender. Stir in tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, sausage, marjoram and pepper. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to med-low. Cover and cook 10 min. Stir in cabbage. Cover and cook 5-10 min, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender.

Fireman's Stew

1 1/2 lb. lean hamburger
2 large onions, chopped
2 diced potatoes
4 carrots, sliced
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 can whole tomatoes, chopped
salt to taste
2 tablespoons sugar

Make two layers of each ingredient and heat to a boil. Don't stir. Cook slow for at least one hour.

About the Author: Cindy Sanchez is the owner and editor of www.PracticalKitchen.com. Sign up for our Practical Recipes Newsletter for delivery of many savory recipes to your mailbox each week. http://www.practicalkitchen.com/subscribe.shtml

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