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.
– 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.