I think I've said before, that one of my "easy meal" cooking strategies is to cook when I cook. Generally, it doesn't take very much longer to cook a double, triple, or quadruple recipe than to cook only enough for one meal. When do large batch cooking I have dinner for that same day, and also one or two or three additional meals to put in the freezer, or to share.
My mother has a recipe for oven stew that she has made a gazillion years, and shared the recipe with me and my sisters when we were grown. It has become one of my family's favorites over the years and I usually make double batches a couple of times a year, having stew one night and then another time topping the remainder with frozen puff pastry and having beef pot pie.
My mother doesn't really cook anymore, as she doesn't have the stamina for the cooking prep and process, and she had been expressing a desire for "her" stew, so I offered to make up a batch for her. I used 6 pounds of stew beef from Costco and made two pots' worth -- enough for her and my Dad for several meals, as well as enough for my family for a night of stew, a night of beef pot pie, and several single lunches and dinners that could be reheated according to a person's individual schedule.
|note ever present tea cup and electric kettle, handy for tea refills|
|dump all the veggies in the pot|
|add the meat and the rest of the ingredients and mix it up as best one can|
|one pot out of the oven|
|the other pot after it's done cooking|
2 or 3 lbs stew meat
1 or 2 onions, cut up
2 or 3 celery stalks, cut up
3 or 4 carrots, cut up
4 or 5 potatoes
1 can cream of mushroom soup or tomato soup (or both)/can use home-made cream of- soup of course
a half cup or cup of water (depends on if you use 1 or 2 cans of the soup).
Mix it all together in a big dutch oven or other oven-proof pot with a lid, cover and cook at 275 degrees for 5 hours. Give it a good stir towards the end of the cooking time.
The recipe is good just as it is, but sometimes I add mushrooms, some bay leaf, some thyme -- just whatever I feel like. And you can vary the amounts of veggies and the amount of meat to whatever suits you. No matter what you do, it turns out good.
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