I needed a relatively quick, yet really cheap idea for dinner that would allow for enough leftovers to get a whole other meal out of it (for 3 people). I had $10 in my pocket to last me until Thanksgiving.
I went to the grocery store and got about a pound of stew meet for $3.00, a bag of frozen mixed vegetables for $.98, and a can of crushed tomatoes for $.98. I had potatoes because DUH! Thanksgiving’s on Thursday.
At home, I crushed up two cloves of garlic and sauted them up in my dutch oven with some vegetable oil. The chunks of stew meat were a little big, so I cut them up into smaller pieces, and then dredged them in floor. Next, I browned the meat with the garlic. While that was browning, I cut up 3 potatoes into ½ cubes (maybe a big smaller). Once the meat was brown I threw in the potatoes, added about six cups of water, dumped in the frozen veggies, and the can of tomatoes. I added some salt, pepper, thyme and oregano. Over a full flame on the top of the stove I allowed it all to come to a boil.
Once it started boiling, I turned it down to medium-low and let it cook for about an hour, stirring a couple of times.
After about an hour, I mixed up about 1/3 of a cup of Wondra flour with 1 cup of water, and stirred it into the pot, hoping it would thicken up to a stew consistency. I put the lid back on and let it simmer for another half hour or so. Unfortunately, it didn’t get quite as thick as I had originally wanted it, but it’s thicker than a soup. I suppose I could have added more flour, but I was starving and didn’t want to wait another half an hour for the flour to cook.
Anyway, my son, who’s a seriously picky eater, and doesn’t like stew, and isn’t a huge soup fan either just yelled at me from the other room that this was AMAZING!
Usually, when I have more money and time, I also chop up an onion and sauté it up with the garlic, cook it at least 3 hours, and then add a box of mushrooms about ½ an hour before I’m ready to eat.