Monday, April 26, 2010

Beef Stew and Sweet Potato Casserole

I was excited to cook and even more excited that Jeff had gone grocery shopping, it sure makes it easier! I really need to read the recipe instructions before I start cooking, as I thought this would be an easy night. Oh how I was wrong! The Beef Stew (from Aunt Virginia) took me 4 hours to complete! I started by browning stew meat, which I decided after it was already cooking that the precut cubes were not as small as I had hoped. So I took a fork and pulled the pieces out one at a time, cut them in half and replaced them back to cook. Then I had to add a lot of spices, some water and let it simmer for an hour and a half. I got smart this time and cut the recipe to a 1/3. The original recipe called for 3 lbs of beef! As well as a lot of other ingredients in massive amounts. I had a few close calls though, when I forgot that I cut it in thirds and almost added the full amount. Thank God I have all the brains in my head and had a careful thought session before adding anything. As the stew simmered, I removed the lid and took a large whiff to smell the progress. Horrible idea! The covered pot had created an intense steam that came rushing out and into my nostrils. BURN! I may have even singed some nose hairs. I sniffled my way through the rest of the stew, more veggies, and another 45 minutes cooking. I then had to sauté in butter some mushrooms which I have despised my whole life. As they were cooking I thought maybe I could wean myself into liking mushrooms; they are covered in butter, so it shouldn’t be hard! I gave a mushroom a taste….nope, I still despise! Add the mushrooms, cook another 45 minutes.
The recipe states 6 servings…which could mean 6 servings if you are a professional eater, or Jeff or Devon. With only 1/3 the portion, it was plenty!
The sweet potato casserole is one of my recipes I pulled out of It is very easy, very tasty, and kind of healthy. It seems like it would make a great side dish for Thanksgiving.

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