This year I am really trying to focus on not wasting food and using what I have on hand. I also want to share what it is that I make for dinner each night for my husband. (I would say family but let me be honest – my kids still only eat chicken nuggets and spaghetti every night.) I have people ask me all the time what I make and how can they make it too? Do I have a recipe to share? Well, with some dedication on my part, I am hoping to give you some ideas on what I make by continuing to blog my recipes.
Today when I looked in my fridge, I saw some leftover elk steaks that my brother brought us on his last visit. Dave, my husband, cooked them up a few days ago for a buddy who was visiting during the holidays, and I certainly did not want the labor of my brother’s hunting to go to waste by throwing them out. So, I got out an onion, some celery, carrots, mushrooms, and a sweet potato…and voila! Stew is what I will be making for dinner tonight.
Funny thing about elk is I won’t eat it. Nope. This will be strictly for Dave’s stomach only because I had a bad experience with elk about 18 years ago (gosh I sound so old!) when I went to visit my brother in Colorado. A few days before my visit, he hunted elk and got one. During that hunting season all those years ago, there was a long wait to get your game meat processed, so my brother decided to process his own. The first thing that happens when you fabricate game meat is that you have to let the carcass bleed out and then dry it out which my brother was doing in his backyard with a few trees.
At this point, I had not seen my brother in a while since I lived in Texas and he in Colorado. When I got to the house and before my sister-in-law could warn me, I raced outside to see this disgusting dead animal (No offense to the elk. It was the insides that grossed me out) hanging from the trees. Before I got a hug in, I was back inside the house ready to throw up from what I had seen.
Eventually we caught up with one another and sat down to have dinner together that night in their dining room. On the menu was spaghetti with a meat marinara sauce, although I was not informed of what kind of meat and assumed it was your standard ground beef. As you can guess, the mystery meat that I was now eating had been hanging in the backyard a short time before. Let’s just say I haven’t eaten any game meat since (nor did I finish my meal that night) and have no plans to in the future. So, if I was to make this stew for me, it would definitely include beef instead.
This recipe can be interchangeable really with any type of meat you want. The recipe I made tonight had elk in it, but beef would be just as good of a choice. I didn’t put potatoes in there like a traditional stew either for a few reasons. One, I didn’t have any potatoes on hand, and two, because Dave likes healthier choices in his food. A sweet potato in his opinion is much healthier than a regular Yukon gold potato.
The point is that hopefully when you are using my recipes, you can go with the flow to make choices on the fly, such as using sweet potato instead of a Yukon gold, that allows you to think outside the box and still serve a delicious product. Don’t knock a sweet potato stew until you try it because it is a wonderful culinary experience. Now go ahead and make it in your kitchen along with some of my cornbread! You will love it!
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 6 mushrooms, quartered
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 T oregano
- 2 T butter
- ½ cup of flour (1/8 of cornstarch for a gluten-free version)
- 6 cups of beef stock
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- 2 lbs beef, trimmed and cubed (or you can use elk or anything else you wish)
- 2 carrots, cut in large dice
- 1 sweet potato, large dice
- 1 can of green beans, drained
- S & P to taste
- Heat up the olive oil in your pot.
- Add onion, celery, and mushrooms and sauté until they become soft. Mix in garlic.
- Season with salt, pepper, and oregano.
- Throw in the butter until melted and then mix in the flour.
- Once incorporated, keeping mixing the flour mixture for 2-3 minutes to begin the process of cooking out the flour.
- Begin whisking the chicken and beef stocks in their entirety.
- Bring to a boil and let the flour finish cooking out for 5 minutes on medium heat while frequently whisking your stew.
- Add the beef and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the carrots, sweet potato, and green beans, and simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes.
- Taste your stew to figure out how much salt and pepper you need to season your stew with.
- Serve in a bowl while hot and with some cornbread!