Poor Man's Stew or Doodleberry Soup?

I think my blogging experience is rubbing off on my son.  My husband was trying to eat some cheese and crackers today, and my son walked up with his "camera" and said, "Wait, Dad.. put the cheese on the crackers like this, now let me take a picture."  I guess the sight of me with camera in hand, taking an endless amount of pictures of the food I make, has left an impression in his little brain.  We may have a little chef in the making.  He was along side me again today while I prepared dinner for tonight.  He had taken the leftover frozen vegetables and made his own "soup" at his little kitchen.  He calls it Doodleberry Soup.

I present....Chef Cade...

and his Doodleberry Soup

Being the loving mom that I am, when he asked if I would like to taste it, I had to agree.  My stage face really came into play, because he had poured a copious amount of garlic powder and chili powder on top. While his version of Poor Man's Stew might need a little tweaking, mine is tried and true and completely satisfying.

The recipe was given to me by my mother-in-law, and it is similar to something my parents used to make called Hobo Stew.  I typically make it in the winter, but decided there was no rule against making stew in the summer.  It is called Poor Man's Stew, because it is made with ground beef rather than stew meat, which is quite a bit less expensive.  It's a recipe that you can easily adapt to suit your own tastes.

Poor Man’s Stew

1 lb. hamburger meat, cooked and drained
Season salt
2-3 Cups frozen vegetables (or 2 cans mixed vegetables, drained)
1 can whole new potatoes, drained and cut into bite sized pieces.
1 can red kidney beans, drained
4 small cans tomato sauce or 2 large cans
1 tablespoons ketchup
¼ cup picante sauce or salsa (optional)
1 chopped onion (optional)
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
water or beef broth (optional)

Brown the hamburger with some season salt, and drain off the grease.  Place the meat in a large pot or crock pot.  Add the vegetables, cut up potatoes, beans, tomato sauce, ketchup, onion, and spices.  Depending on how thick you want it you can add a little water or beef broth to thin it down if desired.  I usually add about a cup of water or broth.  Cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours. The longer you let this simmer before eating, the better it will be. The flavors soak into the vegetables and it tastes even better.

You can do a lot of different variations with this recipe.  I have used many different types of vegetables and beans.  You can also play around with the proportions, it is a very forgiving recipe.  You can even add some cooked elbow macaroni for a different variation.  Taste and season as desired, I use less chili powder because my husband doesn't like spicy food.  But you can add more to taste. This keeps very well for several days in the refrigerator, and tastes even better heated up the next day.  We may have to change the name of this soup in our house, since my son will only refer to it as Doodleberry Soup now.


Betty819 said...

Since I already have stew beef meat that I bought yesterday, can I substitute that and still make this same recipe? I would brown the stew beef meat in seasoned flour, drain and then proceed with your recipe from there. Did I miss whether you spray your baking dish with Pam first? I am having a guest for lunch next week and this sounds like it would be perfect. Could I serve right in the baking dish? I have the oval and round French White Corningware baking dishes, which would be perfect I think. Thanks for the inspiration!

Have a good simple quiche recipe?

Unknown said...

Hi Betty! Although I've not tried using stew meat, I'm sure it would substitute just fine. This dish is like a cross between stew and chilli, so I don't see why it wouldn't work. As for the baking dish, I do make this in a crockpot, it's meant to be simmered at low heat over a long period of time to really get the best flavor. So if you want to try baking in the oven, I would use a low temp, and just keep an eye on it. Hope this helps!

Amber/Sprinkled With Flour

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