Wednesday, November 5, 2008

november 5, 2008: frugal feasts red state/blue state stews

beef with baby vegetables
Hearty Pork Stew
Pork Stew
Serves 6 at $1.75 per serving

1 ½ lbs pork butt, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 teaspoon dried sage, crushed
1 teaspoon dried mint, crushed
1/4 cup of butter, divided
8 ounces fresh button mushrooms halved or quartered
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
1 14 ounce can chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 pound bag frozen crinkle cut carrots
3 tablespoons all -purpose flour
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste

For Serving:

Hot buttered noodles

Preheat oven to 350. Sprinkle pork with sage and mint. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a 12 inch oven proof skillet with lid or other heavy lidded pot over medium heat. Brown the pork in the butter, turning often. Remove the pork from the pan and set aside. Add the mushrooms, onions and garlic to the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes until the onions are tender. Stir in the chicken broth, and add the bay leaf, salt and pepper and the browned pork. Cover the pan and place in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Stir in the carrots and return to the oven for another 20 minutes until the carrots are tender.

Melt the remaining butter in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and the Worcestershire sauce. Cook, stirring constantly for one minute and remove from heat.

Transfer the pan from the oven to the stove top and bring the pork to a boil over medium heat. Add the flour mixture and stir well. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for two minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened. Remove bay leaf and serve over hot buttered noodles.

Beef Stew with Baby Vegetables
Inspired by our favorite blue state cook, Ina Garten.
6 servings at $2.00 per serving
2 strips uncooked bacon, cut into small dice
2 lb package beef chuck for stew , cut into bite sized pieces, approx ½ inch.
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper,
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon rosemary, chopped
1 bottle red wine, 1 can beef broth or a mixture of both
1 can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, plus more for garnish
1 cup frozen peas, thawed and drained
1 cup frozen pearl onions thawed and drained
1 cup frozen baby carrots, thawed and drained
For Serving:
1 medium sized loaf of skinny French bread, cut into thin slices
1 clove of garlic, peeled and cut in half
Cook the bacon in a heavy lidded pot over medium heat until the bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Sprinkle the beef with the salt and the pepper. Working in batches, brown the meat in the bacon fat over medium heat. Cook for 1-2 minutes stirring occasionally until at least one side of each beef piece is brown.
Add the minced garlic and stir around with the meat for one minute. Add the wine and broth if using, and the can of tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cover the pot. Keep the meat at a simmer for approximately 1 hour, until the beef is tender when pierced with a fork. Add the thawed vegetables and simmer for another 10 minutes, until the vegetables are warmed through.
Rub the bread slices with garlic. Put two slices in the bottom of each of 6 soup bowls. Ladle the beef and vegetables over the bread. Garnish with some additional rosemary and serve hot.

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