[Welcome to 2014! Hope everyone had a lovely holiday season. I’m back from an amazing trip to Australia and looking forward to a brand new year of blogging. I haven’t had time to look through all my travel pictures yet as I just returned late Saturday night, but once I do I’ll be sure to share some with you guys, along with the some of my plans for 2014. In the mean time, enjoy an easy dinner recipe below.]
We now resume our regularly scheduled programming. I’m starting off the new year with an easy comfort food since I’m sure everyone is exhausted from all the holiday cooking and eating. (If you aren’t sugared out, I hope didn’t miss my almond roca post from two weeks ago.) This a hearty, no-frills stew is full of potatoes, peas, carrots and tender pieces of meat. Nothing fancy, just warm and filling. Other than dicing some veggies and browning the meat, you just throw it in a crock pot for a few hours and come back to a meal perfect for a cozy winter evening.
Need a side dish? Look no further than this honey cornbread. I love this recipe because not only is it super easy (and only requires two sizes of measuring cups), it is melt-in-your-mouth delicious with the slight sweetness of honey. It’s extra delicious spread with butter and drizzled with honey. Throw this recipe in the oven 30 minutes before you want to eat, and you have the perfect companion for your stew. A hard cider rounds out the meal (or Martinelli’s, for the kids.)
Both the stew and the cornbread make great leftovers, for about a week or a few days, respectively. Keep the stew in the fridge and cornbread in an airtight container on the counter. I like to reheat the cornbread for about 30 seconds in the microwave with some butter for extra moisture. I happily eat this stew for several days, and think you’ll enjoy it too. Find the recipes for both the stew and the cornbread below.
[Slow Cooker] Hearty Stew
Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens cookbook
Makes 2.5-3 quarts
1 lb meat of choice (I used deer)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 (11.5 oz) cans V-8 juice
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cubes beef bouillon
1/2 tsp dried basil1
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf
2-3 large potatoes2
4-6 medium carrots2
1 cup frozen peas
- Add oil to a skillet and brown meat over medium-high heat. Drain and add to slow cooker.
- Add V-8 juice, onion, garlic, bouillon, basil, thyme, pepper and bay leaf, stirring to combine.
- Cube potatoes and carrots into bite-size pieces, about 1″, and carefully add to slow cooker. Add as many potatoes and carrots as you like and will fit.
- Cook on low for 5 hours.
- Add peas and cook for an additional 30 minutes, until peas are warmed through.3
- Serve hot with a side of cornbread (recipe below.)
1 If you don’t have basil, you can substitute oregano.
2 I love potatoes and carrots, so I added a bunch. Start with the lesser amount and add more to taste. No need to peel them unless you really want to.
3 I like to add the peas when I put the cornbread in the oven.
Gleefully borrowed from Tim
Makes one 8×8 or 9×9 pan
1 cup flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup white sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
- Grease a 9×9″ or 8×8″ baking pan and preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium bowl; make a well in the center.
- In a small bowl, lightly beat eggs. Add remaining ingredients and whisk gently.
- Pour wet ingredients into the well and stir gently until just combined. Pour into prepared baking pan.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes for a 9×9 pan, or 25-30 minutes for an 8×8 pan. Cornbread should be nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.
- Let cool for a few minutes, then serve with butter and honey, if desired.