Monday, October 11, 2010

Hamburger Stew

 I was recently talking to my sister, Reen, and as usual, we got to talking about recipes.  She's an awesome cook, so any time we talk recipes, I usually wind up with lots of yummy ideas to try. She mentioned this dish, with which I wasn't familiar. She was shocked that I had never heard of it, considering that this was one of her family's faves, especially her son, Jude. Of course, I immediately asked her to send me the recipe so I could make it and share it with all of you. And of course, she did!! It's the perfect thing to warm you up on a chilly fall evening.
Thanx Been! And Patty! And Jude!!

Hey Joey,
 As previously discussed, Jude is off at Rutgers and learning how to cook from afar.  He wanted to make his childhood favorite dish, Hamburger Stew, which is a recipe I received from our sister Patty. It is a delicious, stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal. Well, Jude is, at this very moment, making the dish at Rutgers and he promised to forward you a picture when it is finished.  Here is the recipe.

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2/3 cup barley
6 cups water
beef gravy (a packet or can)
Mashed potatoes (homemade or instant)

Brown meat, onion and garlic. Drain. Add barley, water, gravy. Bring to boil and simmer for 1 hour, until barley is tender. Add corn. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over mashed potatoes.

Be sure to drain the fat very well after you brown the ground beef. You don't want all that extra fat pooling on the top of your stew. However, if you forget to drain it, you can easily just scoop the fat away with a large spoon.
This recipe lends itself to any number of variations. Reen is the queen of recipe variations, and will always adapt a recipe according to what she's has on hand. For instance, if you want to add other veggies to the stew....go for it! The last time I made it, I added baby carrots, frozen peas, and a few sprigs of fresh thyme. SO GOOD!

Oh, and btw, Jude, any time you wanna send me that picture, go right ahead!!!

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