Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My visitors are in town

...and I actually MADE dinner!

When my family comes in town, we normally go out to eat for dinner. Yesterday I decided to be brave and COOK dinner.

What did I make? Mahogany beef stew. It's an idea that I got from this wonderful site. I made a HUGE batch. I actually bought a 4-pound slab of beef chuck. That darn "stew" beef at the store cost TWICE as much as the uncut version. So I cubed the beef myself. AHH!!!

This stew is a good choice for our group because I wasn't sure about what veggies my sister's kids would like. Instead of the veggies in the stew? I made a big salad. I also chose to make some cornbread (in cupcake form) along with egg noodles instead of rice.

It took about 2 hours total to make dinner. I did deviate from the recipe a little bit, but it was still tasty.


  • Olive oil
  • 3 1/2 pounds beef chuck (cubed)
  • 1 large yellow onion (chopped fine)
  • 1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes (mine had oregano, garlic & basil)
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 tsp chopped garlic (there was garlic in the tomatoes but we love garlic so I added more)


  1. Large heave pot - high flame
  2. Pour in olive oil & heat up
  3. ADD salt & pepper to meat
  4. Brown meat on all sides
  5. Push browned meat to edges of pot.
  6. REDUCE heat to medium flame.
  7. ADD more olive oil if necessary (I didn't add any as there was enough fluid from the meat).
  8. ADD chopped onions to the center of the pot until golden brown - 10 to 15 minutes.
  9. ADD tomatoes & seasonings. Mix well.
  10. ADD hoisin sauce. Mix well.
  11. Bring to boil.
  12. REDUCE heat to simmer & cover. Cook 30-45 minutes and stir occasionally.
  13. ADD additional veggies. I opted for sliced carrots & some green pepper.
  14. ADD water if you think the sauce is getting too thick.
  15. COVER and simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

In the end? We demolished the meal. Not a sliver of salad left. There were only about 3 tiny pieces of beef left. A couple of cornbread cupcakes were placed in the fridge. The extra noodles were placed in the freezer.

For this non-cook? It was great to see that everyone had enough to eat. AND they actually ate.

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