Cooks who work outside the home seem to develop two styles of cooking--one for weekdays and another for weekends. A stew that simmers for a couple of hours just won't do when the cook arrives home after 6 p.m. But that same recipe can be ideal for a weekend around home.
Once the recipe is started, there's time to do other things. Check the pot from time to time, perhaps add ingredients, but for the most part the stew needs little attention.
EASY BRUNSWICK STEW
4 slices bacon
3 pounds chicken pieces
1/2 pound stewing beef, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 (16-ounce) can whole tomatoes, broken up
1/4 cup instant minced onion
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/4 cups water
2 cups peeled potatoes, cut in 1-inch cubes
1 (10-ounce) package frozen lima beans, thawed
1 (12-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
Cook bacon in large saucepan until crisp. Remove, crumble and set aside. Add chicken to drippings in pan. Brown on all sides. Remove.
Add beef to pan and brown on all sides. Drain off drippings. Stir in tomatoes, minced onion, paprika, pepper, water and reserved bacon. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until meat is partly cooked, about 30 minutes.
Add chicken. Simmer, covered, until chicken and beef are barely tender, about 30 minutes. Add potatoes. Simmer, covered, until potatoes are almost tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in lima beans and corn. Cook until vegetables are tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Makes 6 servings.
CARBONNADE DE BOEUF
3 pounds boneless beef chuck, shoulder pot roast or stewing beef
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
4 large onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons flour
2 (12-ounce) bottles dark beer
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can beef broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 tablespoon vinegar
4 sprigs parsley
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Cut beef into 2-inch cubes. Heat butter and 1 tablespoon oil in Dutch oven. Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and cook until browned on all sides. Transfer to platter. Add oil to pan, if needed, then add onion slices. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until tender and golden.
Remove to platter. Stir flour into oil remaining in skillet, adding up to 1 tablespoon more oil if needed. Cook and stir over low heat until lightly browned. Add beer and broth and whisk until smooth. Heat to boiling and boil 1 minute. Stir in garlic, sugar, thyme and vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Stir in beef, onions, parsley sprigs and bay leaf. Heat stew to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until beef is tender. Before serving allow to cool slightly, skim off any fat and discard parsley sprigs and bay leaf. Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley. Makes 8 servings.
SOUTHERN-STYLE HAM STEW
1/2 pound dried black-eyed peas
1 cup dried lima beans
3 cups water
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can chicken broth
3 cups cubed ham
2 medium onions, sliced
1 (16-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1 (10-ounce) package frozen okra
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
2 tablespoons mustard
2 cups chopped mustard, turnip or dandelion greens, spinach or Swiss chard
Rinse and sort out any inferior black-eyed peas and limas. Simmer 1 hour in large pot with water, chicken broth, ham, onions and tomatoes.
Cut okra pieces in half. Add to stew with corn, sweet potato and mustard. Simmer, covered, 20 minutes. Add greens and simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Add salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Makes 6 servings.