Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sarah Sam's Beef Stew

There is no doubt that are some pretty awesome cooks in churches all over the country, but I had the opportunity to know one fabulous one, Sarah Sams.  Her and her sweet husband (senior minister for 20+ years at our church) have been an influence and mentors in our lives: marriage, to parenting, and of course spiritual matters.  I always loved going to their home or just talking to them. She has this sweet southern drawl, gives the best hugs, listens and really let you know that the stuff you're going through... you'll live.  Wanna know a funny thing about Sarah?  She  is known for feeding those sweet babies things FAR sooner than they should (chocolate cake, etc).  Everyone knew to keep an eye on her if she was holding your baby...  Makes me laugh and cry just thinking  about her.  Sure have missed them since they moved. 

I don't remember if Sarah brought her stew to church one Wednesday for Meal Service or where I was privileged to taste it, but I immediately asked her for the recipe and it has been a favorite of our family's ever since.

 Sarah Sam's Beef Stew

1 lb Cooked ground beef
1 onion
potatoes - diced
2-3 cans mixed veggies - don't dump out the juice
1 can tomato juice
2/3 Tablespoons sugar
1 can diced tomatoes
salt and pepper
left over green beans and corn
A wooden spoonful of Worcestershire sauce

Put in a crock pot and let it do it's magic!  Sarah says: "The key to great stew - add a little sugar."

** Now, I have always believe that recipes are suggestions, so I usually add: carrots and celery, and a can of red kidney beans.  Because I don't do a lot of ground beef, I'll use stew meat or deer meat.  I'll braise the stew meat in a skillet with some olive oil, and save back the juices, adding a cup of good red wine and let it glaze a bit before adding it to the stew pot. I usually end up adding some extra beef broth to the stew because I add in fresh veggies instead of canned. 

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