Toddler-Approved Family Stew Recipe

Of all the things that would get my 2-year-old excited about potatoes and carrots, I never expected it to be a 50+ year old stew recipe passed down from my husband’s French grandmother.

My typically picky eater actually made audible mmm sounds while eating the potatoes and thanked me. Zut alors!

Here’s my modified version with shortcuts for busy mamas. (I’ll also include the original handwritten recipe from my mother-in-law because it has that extra special je ne sais quo.)

Warning: this recipe takes 3 hours and has lots of flour, butter and potatoes. Mon dieu!

First, make sure to pick up the following ingredients:

-Pre-cubed stew meat (1.5 lbs)

-Pre-washed baby carrots

-2 potatoes

-4 onions (I had red on and, but any will do)

-Garlic

-Thyme

-Low-sodium beef broth

Wondra All Purpose Quick-Mixing Sauce ‘N Gravy Flour

-Butter

-Salt & pepper

You’ll need a Dutch oven or large pot, plus a sauté pan:

1. Toss the meat in a bag with a few shakes of flour, salt & pepper

2. Brown the meat in half a cube of butter (yep, you read that right) in the main pot

3. Meanwhile, sauté 1.5 cups diced onion; add it to the main pot

4. Add 10.5 oz beef broth, 1.5 cups water, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, and a whole clove of garlic to the main pot

5. Sauté the remaining diced onions and add to the main pot

6. Bring back to a simmer

7. Add the baby carrots (about 2 cups’ worth) and simmer until tender; which takes about 45 minutes

8. Peel and quarter the potatoes and add to the pot when the carrots are nearly done

9. Simmer for another 45 minutes or so, until tender

10. Salt & pepper to taste

For additional ingredients, here’s the original recipe:

Next up, we’ll try my family’s stew recipe which is more of an Irish-style dish. In either case, it’s good for Sundays so you have leftovers for 1-2 other weeknights.

Easy Like Sunday Morning Crock Pot Pork & Mashed Potatoes

2014 is the year of the crock pot, in my book. But finding recipes that use my favorite staples, like pork tenderloin, without delving into canned this or processed that, can be difficult. So this morning, I borrowed from some basic crock pot concepts and added my own healthy spin, to attempt pork tenderloin and carrot stew with mashed potatoes. Fortunately, it worked!

Untitled

You will need:
– 1 onion
– Pork tenderloin
– Baby carrots (1 package)
– Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes
– Salt & pepper
– Optional: green onions, butter for mashed potatoes; flour for gravy

Slice a whole onion and spread evenly to create a layer on the bottom of the crock pot. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Add two pork loins (from one package) on top of onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Pour one small package of baby carrots on top of the pork. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

For the final layer, add as many freshly peeled potatoes as you can fit on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Untitled

Cook on low for 6 hours, and then keep on warm while you prepare the potatoes (or as long as needed).

For the mashed potatoes, remove the cooked potatoes one by one with a spoon from the crock pot (they will be soft). Then mash in an oven-safe casserole dish with desired ingredients. I used 1 cube of melted butter, 1 cup of almond milk, 1-2 chopped green onions, and salt & pepper to taste. Keep warm in the oven at 200 degrees until ready to serve.

For gravy, I ladled some of the juice from the crock pot into a small saucepan and whisked in about 1/8 cup of flour slowly. My gravy turned out pretty lumpy, so this part will require further refinement.

I may also add more liquid next go around, so there’s even more juicy goodness. But all in all, this was a hearty and health home style meal without a parade of dishes!