The next two weeks are all about cooking comfort food, using old cookbooks that I have been collecting for many years and really getting down to the good ol' recipes that consisted of plain easy accessible ingredients.
What I found after reading these books and jotting down meals for the new menu, is that when I went grocery shopping for two weeks, my list consisted of about 30 items and I think it was the shortest I've ever seen. Now of course I didn't have to purchase any meats/poultry/pork because my freezer is stocked from the butcher order but still, everything I'll be cooking will be filling, delicious and easy to whip up and I think that's what it all really comes down to right?
So, with that said and in the interest of going back in time, oh say, about 40 years, tonight's dinner was my contribution and the result is a stick to your ribs kinda meal that my husband really appreciated after a 12 hour shift at work.
Simple Slow Cooked Beef and Potato Ring
2lbs boneless beef stew meat
1 small onion, finely diced
baby carrots, just as many as you wish
1 can stewed tomatoes, undrained
salt and pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
garlic minced, about a teaspoon
1 dried chili pepper (you don't have to use the chili if you don't like it)
1/2 cup water
Potatoes, cooked and mashed
salt and pepper to taste
In the slow cooker, spray with non stick spray, add the meat, onion, baby carrots, stewed tomatoes, worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste, bay leaf, garlic and then break the chili pepper on top. Add the water, give it a quick stir to incorporate all the ingredients and then cook on LOW for 8 hours.
When done, add a little bit of cornstarch, turn the heat to HIGH and cook for a few minutes longer while stirring until gravy is thickened. Since my slow cooker insert can be used on the stove top, I just removed it from the base and set it on medium heat to thicken the gravy.
Pour into a serving dish.
For the potatoes:
I just eyeball it, honestly I am really not good with exact amounts, so make enough potatoes for your family. When they are cooked, drain the water, mash with a potato masher, then add butter, salt and pepper, a little cream and the chives, stir well. Again, just make it according to your taste, some people like it lumpier others like it smoother.
Take spoonfuls of the mash and place around the meat forming a ring. You don't have to use all the mash, whatever is leftover, just serve on a plate as extra :)
And that's it, hope you enjoy :)