Sharon’s Late Night Beef Stew and Corn Bread Cake

There are nights when my 17 year old son is working late and my 15 year old daughter is busy at an afternoon class. I am going in all directions and cannot spend the morning or afternoon preparing a hot supper. So I make beef stew. I don’t start until 4 in the afternoon.  It is ready by 7 or 7:30 in the evening. I will share the recipe and all the details that went into making this, despite having a hectic schedule…like any other busy mom.


Beef Stew

– Five pounds of potatoes $1.00 (20 pound bag on sale cost $3.99 – from a small local grocer.)
– McCormick Seasoning Packet $1.79
– One Pound of Beef  $1.43 (Manager’s special markdown.)
– One Pound of Organic Carrots  $1.10
– 5 Cups of Water  (Traditionally 3 cups are used, but I need to add more water so it feeds more people.)

(This was served with one sliced cucumber – 45 cents)

Corn Bread Cake

– 1 and 1/4 cups wheat flour  .20 (5 pound bag cost $2.99. There are -75- quarter cups in the bag)
– 3/4 cups corn meal flour (not the coarse kind)  .08
– 1/4 cup sugar  .04
– 1 t. baking powder .04
– 1/4 t salt  .01
– 1/4 cup vegetable oil  .08
– 2 eggs  .16 cents  (one dozen on special for .99 cents)
– 1 cup milk  .18 cents

Total Cost of Meal – $6.56

The Cooking Plan

I fried the beef in vegetable oil on medium to medium low. It took about 15 minutes. I simmered it a few minutes longer, then added the flour, water and seasoning packet. I brought this to a boil, stirred until everything dissolved and then covered the pan. I kept it on a low boil (simmering) for 45 minutes.

I peeled and cut the potatoes and carrots and placed them in a large colander. When the beef was finished cooking, I poured in the vegetables. I stirred this until it came back to a boil and then simmered on low (covered).

My 15 year old daughter made the cornbread cake. (She used a round cake pan.) I didn’t realize I had bought the wrong kind of corn flour. I normally get the coarse kind and make a more traditional corn bread. I didn’t realize my mistake until after this came out of the oven.  She also told me she used wheat flour (smiles). It should have been mostly corn flour! But it turned out delicious and sweet and filling anyway!

The beef stew cooks for about an hour and a half after the vegetables are added. By this time, it is normally 7 or 7:30 at night and everyone is finally home so we can enjoy the food!

I always carefully portion out the beef stew. If I left it to my teenagers to help themselves, there would not be enough to go around.  I also put aside a large bowl-full for Nana and Grandpa (who live with us, in an in-law apartment of our house).  If Dad is not home yet, I will put aside a bowl for him to heat up later.

It is important that I include a baked item (like corn bread, biscuits or bread) to help fill everyone up. I also serve sliced cucumbers and Milk or Iced Tea.

FREE DOWNLOAD! Eight 20-Minute Meal Ideas That Will Help You Survive Chaotic & Busy Weeknights!
Please enter all required fields
Correct invalid entries


  1. says

    In the beef stew recipe directions she mentions flour but I do not see the flour amount in the beef stew recipe breakdown. Would you please let me know how much flour? 😀

  2. says

    I forgot to ask. If your daughter should have used more corn flour and the course kind what is the true flour breakdown and should I use the course kind of corn meal? Thank you. 😀

  3. says

    Sorry about that!! The flour in the beef stew recipe calls for 3 Tablespoons. Thank you for mentioning it!

    As for baking the cornbread cake – 400 degrees for about 25 minutes.

    As for using the coarse cornmeal, generally, it should be 1 cup flour to 3/4 cup of cornmeal. I don’t think the coarse cornmeal would work with the cornbread cake recipe without major tweaking.

    Thank you for asking!!

  4. Martha says

    Teenagers are still growing and portions of protien should not be limited, relying on carbs to “fill them up”. Since the beef you purchased is so cheap, why not purchase two pounds and let them have a more filling portion?

  5. Audrey says

    Ouch Martha!

    Why not ‘fill up’ on a cheap carb now and again to save some money for more protein later?

    Sharron, great recipe! We just had beef stew last week! But I *love* the idea of the ‘sweet’ cornbread cake and plan on using it this week on our meal planning with our chili! =o)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *