Dinner this time of year can be challenging. There are a lot of things to do as we prepare for Christmas.
Some of those things even involve slowing down and enjoying the season as it happens.
But to do that slowing down thing, and to get all the other things done, meal planning and prep sometimes takes a backseat.
Basically, we gotta get fed to keep moving. But time is of the essence.
Not knowing what to do with it, I took a pound of cubed beef out of the freezer this morning. I figured inspiration would hit me sometime around 4:15pm—an hour and 15 minutes before we had to leave the house for the kids’ school Christmas concert (or Winter Concert as the school calls it, because, apparently, they aren’t even supposed to say “holiday” concert anymore).
I wouldn’t exactly call it inspiration, but it did hit me that the day was quickly approaching the four o’clock hour and I hadn’t done anything with that beef.
Christmas concert nights are always pretty late nights, so I wanted something that left minimal clean-up.
Here it is…beef stew on the stove in one pan. I didn’t even use a cutting board to cut up the vegetables. I cut them up over the pot.
Super easy to make, and not just because it had minimal ingredients and cooked up fast. But because it required very little thinking and almost no planning (except that the meat had to be defrosted).
1 lb cubed beef or stewing beef
1/2 a medium onion cut into large pieces
1 large potato cut into large cubes
2 medium carrots peeled and cut into one inch pieces
2 celery stalks cut into one inch pieces
1 and 3/4 cups of beef stock (or two cups depending on how thick you want it to turn out)
Add a splash of oil to the pot, toss in the beef and a couple of tablespoons of corn starch. Stir to coat the beef. Let the beef cook for a couple of minutes until brown.
Add the onion and cook for a couple more minutes. Add the carrots, celery and potato and another tablespoon of cornstarch. Stir to coat the veggies, then add the beef broth. Bring to a boil, cover and lower the heat, stirring occasionally. Cooking time is roughly 20 minutes.
Remove the lid and continue to cook for a few more minutes until it thickens. Stir occasionally. (I added a sprinkle of oregano at this point.)
As beef stews go, I was told at the dinner table by several members of my family that this is the beef stew they like the best. I’m glad, because it’s easy and clean-up was a cinch!