So B.O.B. Bob and I made it back from our trip to Savannah in one piece, which is always a good thing. Thankfully there were no trips to the hospital involved, although there was one night I was truly convinced that death was near, due to some intense heartburn caused by eating the most amazing shrimp and grits, Caesar salad, and hot rolls with pimento cheese. Of course this happened on the warmest day of our trip, when the thermometer hit over ninety degrees. After spending half the night on the floor in attempt to get away from the heat, I was more than ready to travel home, and get back to a “normal” diet. It seems that a week of local beer, Moon Tang’s, and fried food is not good for ones system. Lesson learned, but more than likely to be repeated in the future, because who doesn’t love a city where you can walk around with alcohol at all times?
This stew was an attempt to subtly reintroduce some veggies back into our diets once we returned home from the land of Spanish moss, gorgeous lowlands, and beautiful architecture. This recipe is also helping to make it possible to open the freezer door without causing an avalanche for the first time in several months. I lie. There still may be some avalanches, but they are becoming more manageable. This stew, served along with a small side salad and a hunk of bread, has been a lifesaver throughout our first week back in reality. I haven’t had to cook all week because of it, and there hasn’t been a single night spent on the floor in which I’ve contemplated whether or not death would come before morning.
- 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 10-oz Beef Top Sirloin Steak, Cut into Small Cubes
- 1 Pound Ground Beef
- 1 Onion, Diced Finely
- 1 (32-oz) Carton Beef Cooking Stock
- 1 1/2 Cups Spaghetti Sauce
- 1 Sweet Potato, Peeled and Diced
- 2 Red Potatoes, Peeled and Diced
- 3 Carrots, Peeled and Diced
- 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1/4 Teaspoon Dried Basil
- 1/4 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 (10.8-oz) Bag Frozen Sweet Peas
- 1 (8-oz) Container White Button Mushrooms, Diced
- 1 Tablespoon Corn Starch
- 2 Tablespoons Water
- Place the olive oil in a large Dutch oven, over high heat.
- Add the sirloin and cook until browned.
- Remove the sirloin; set aside.
- Add the ground beef and diced onion, and cook until the ground beef is browned and the onions are soft and translucent.
- Add the stock, spaghetti sauce, sirloin, sweet potatoes, red potatoes, carrots, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, and garlic powder to the Dutch oven, bring to a boil, and then decrease the heat to low and cover.
- Cook for 1 1/2 hours, stirring every half an hour.
- Add the peas and mushrooms, and then cook for an additional half an hour.
- In a small bowl, combine the corn starch and water, and then add it to the stew.
- Cook for 15 additional minutes.
- Remove the bay leaves before serving.
- Use your favorite spaghetti sauce in this recipe. I used a homemade version.
- If you prefer, replace the spaghetti sauce with a can of diced tomatoes.
- Add the sweet potatoes along with the peas and mushrooms if you wish for them to keep their shape, and not break down in the stew.
- Throw in whatever veggies you have hanging out that need to be used, such as zucchini, corn, green beans, or cabbage.
- Add a cup of dried pasta during the last 20 minutes of cooking time, in lieu of using the cornstarch and water to thicken the stew.
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