Monday, January 10, 2011

Pot Roast Stew

It snowed yesterday so it was a perfect weather for comfort food. I made macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, spaghetti casserole, and stew last night. The stew and mashed potatoes were dinner, the rest was for later in the week and for lunch.  The stew recipe is something I made up on the fly (it was inspired by Jeff), it turned out pretty good, we ate it served over the mashed potatoes instead of me putting potatoes in the stew. Here's the recipe:

Nic's Pot Roast Stew
2 T butter
1-2 T oil (I used canola)
4 medium carrots, diced
2-3 stalks celery, diced
1/2 an onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 T flour
3-4 C french onion soup (or cooked both from a 4-5lb pot roast) with the fat skimmed off
1-2 lbs of left over pot roast
bay leaf
salt and pepper

Combine butter and oil over med-low heat in a dutch oven.  Sweat onion, carrots, celery, and garlic 5-7 minutes or until veggies are soft.  Add the flour and stir for 3-4 minutes.  Then add soup/broth, bay leaf, and oregano bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, add the meat and set on a low simmer for 30 mins. You may want to skim off any fat/grease that rises to the top.  Add the peas and serve over mashed potatoes once the peas are hot.

Here's what I do to maximize the food that I have bought. I make French onion soup (Julia Child's recipe) eat that for dinner, use the left over soup to cook the pot roast either in the oven or in the crock pot. Eat the pot roast for dinner and then use the sauce/soup concoction and make stew with the left over pot roast. That way I have 3 meals (and then some). It makes me feel like I'm being thrifty.

The mac and cheese recipe is what my Mom used to make all the time, serves about 4-6 people as a side dish. While it uses velveeta I'm OK with that, I am not one to turn my nose up at processed cheese.... it melts soooo well and is easy to use. I justify this by not using it that frequently.

Mom's Mac 'n Cheese

2 C cooked elbow pasta
2-4 T butter
1/2 onion diced, sauteed in a little butter
3-4 T flour
velveeta - I never measure best guess would be about 1 1/2 C cubed
3-4 C milk

Grease 2 qt. casserole, add pasta, onion, and butter, toss to coat. Add velveeta, stir, add flour, stir. Pour in milk, until all is covered but not swimming. I microwave the milk for a few minutes just to preheat. Add pepper and a dash of nutmeg. Bake at 350 for 45 min- 1 hr (or until top is brown and edges are bubbly you don't want it soupy). Enjoy!

The spaghetti casserole has been a favorite of my families since I was a kid. I have no idea where my Mom got it, I've adapted it a bit to suit my tastes.

Spaghetti Casserole

1lb ground beef
1 garlic clove, diced
1 onion, diced
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can tomato soup
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1 can diced mushrooms
1 lb. spaghetti, cooked
shredded cheddar cheese

In a large dutch oven brown ground beef with onions, bell pepper, and garlic. Drain off fat, combine with soups and mushrooms. Add in spaghetti, toss well to combine, top with cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until hot and cheese is melted.

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