Cozy Dinner Times Two!
It is during this time of the year that I find myself looking to make filling meals that are warm, comforting and full of good healthy ingredients. It also happens that during this time in our life, (enter one smallish income for 3 people) I find myself looking to stretch our grocery bill into as many meals as possible. It really makes my day when I can stretch one meal into two or more- (other than just eating leftovers, which is always nice.)
Last night, I made this recipe for a slow-cooker beef stew. If you enjoy cozy meals such as this, I would certainly recommend giving it a try. A few things you should know, the recipe calls for 4 lbs. of bottom round. That is a lot of meat--- so for Mr. S and I, I used about 1.35 lbs. of cubed stew meat. It still made plenty and it was not too meat heavy as some stews can be. We prefer a lot of vegetables. Another observation, the recipe calls for baby carrots. Baby carrots are fine and definitely convenient. We have taken to buying a large bag of whole organic carrots because we get WAY more per pound, they last much longer in the fridge since they are unpeeled (we're talking weeks here) and we tend to think the taste is just sweeter and more "carrot-ey" (Yes, I have coined a new word.) One other disclaimer, the recipe calls for a cup of red wine. Obviously, the alcohol cooks out, but if you choose not to use the wine, you could try beef broth.. however I would add at least a small amount of red wine or red cooking wine, because the flavor is really unmistakable.The resulting dish was really good and warmed us from the inside out on a chilly rainy night.
On to meal #2:
Long ago, my mother taught me that beef stew or soup makes an excellent Meat Pie a couple days later. Just thicken or thin the sauce to your desired consistency, place in a casserole dish and cover with a piecrust. Seal the edges and bake until golden brown and bubbly. Tip: try adding a small sprinkling of fresh or dried Thyme or Rosemary to your crust before rolling it out. Beautiful and Savory! If you are short on time, you can certainly use a roll-out pie crust, or even top your beef stew with biscuit-dough. Either one would make excellent use of leftovers and give your family the feeling of an entirely different Supper. Especially if you wait a day in between! You could also accomplish this same concept by topping leftover chili with cornbread and baking. Yum!
This is just a simple technique that I use from time to time and I thought I would share.
What are some creative ways you get double or even triple duty out of your leftovers?