Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Meatball stew

Mom used to make a meatball stew with carrots, potatoes, meatballs... and a can of beefy mushroom soup.  I loved that stew; mom made the best meatballs.  But beefy mushroom soup is definitely not allergy friendly for R.  I don't know what it is about beef, but most manufacturers find the need to add all kinds of things to beef broths and soups.  (Campbell's Beefy Mushroom ingredient list: Beef Stock, Water, Seasoned Cooked Beef (Beef, Water, Salt, Sodium Phosphate), Mushrooms, Modified Food Starch, Contains less than 2% of the Following Ingredients: Salt, Vegetable Oil, Wheat Flour, Yeast Extract, Potato Starch, Hydrolyzed Yeast Protein, Monosodium Glutamate, Dehydrated Onions, Caramel Color, Beef Fat, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein and Wheat Gluten, Spice Extract, Dextrose.)  Now that's a bellyache in a can.  So in answer to my craving for that old comfort food, I whipped up some canned soup free meatball stew.  The sauce isn't as thick as that old canned version, but I could always thicken it up if I wanted.  I like it thin too.  Funnily enough, the night I made this, hubby was working late and I wasn't expecting him home so we ate a bit late.  He came in the door as we were eating and had bought a can of Chunky Vegetable Beef Soup to scarf down for dinner before he went back to work.  This was so much better and he was able to go plug back in, happily fed with good home cooked stew instead of highly processed, canned glop.  ☺

Meatball Stew
Serves 6-8
1 slice bread, turned into crumbs
1 lb ground beef, grass fed preferred
1 pkg of 4 mild italian sausages, removed from casings (we have a good local brand with good ingredients)
2 eggs
1 tbsp dried parsley
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp fresh ground pepper

1½ tbsp flour (I used white spelt)
2 small onions, sliced into chunks
4 small carrots, sliced into coins
1 red bell pepper, cut into bite sized chunks
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp fresh ground pepper
¼ tsp lemon pepper
¼ tsp mixed pepper flakes (you can also use red pepper flakes for more heat)
¼ tsp italian seasoning
3 tbsp refined coconut oil
1 tbsp garlic olive oil
3 small (or 2 medium) russet potatoes, peeled and chunked
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
1 14.5oz can green beans, drained
2 cups chicken stock (homemade if you've got it)

For the meatballs, put all the meatball ingredients in a medium bowl and combine thoroughly with your hands.  Form the mixture into 20-25 meatballs and place on a parchment lined baking sheet while you heat the pan and chop the veggies.  Set the oven to warm.  Sprinkle the flour over the meatballs and turn to coat on the paper.  Heat a large skillet over medium heat for a minute and add 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil.  (Gives very crispy coating.)  Place the meatballs into the skillet, spaced apart. You may need to do two batches.  Cook and turn, a couple minutes per side until the meatballs are browned and set all over.   Move the meatballs back to the baking sheet and place in the oven set to warm.

Add the garlic olive oil to the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, peppers and half of the salt and pepper.  Cook until soft, about 4 minutes.  Add the garlic, potatoes, beans, tomatoes, pepper flakes, broth and remaining salt and peppers.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Add the meatballs back to the pan.  Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pan and cook until the potatoes are tender and the meatballs are cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. 

Adapted from Food Network

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