Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Stew Special #2 - Columbian Beef & Sweet Potato Stew

To get myself out of the regular, old, Slow Cooker Beef Stew rut, I'll be trying out a new stew every Sunday.  I'll post the recipe and also the results from the Brownlee Test Kitchen.  This week I had a sweet potato in the fridge that needed using up, so here is what a google search came up with from the Betty Crocker website.

Columbian Beef & Sweet Potato Stew

1 lb boneless beef chuck
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 ½ teaspoons olive or vegetable oil
3 cups 1-inch pieces peeled sweet potatoes
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
2 whole cloves
1 dried bay leaf
1 stick cinnamon
1 large onion, cut into eighths
1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes, undrained
8 dried apricots, cut in half
Chopped fresh parsley, if desired
  1. Remove excess fat from beef. Cut beef into 1-inch pieces. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. In 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook beef in oil about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown.
  2. In 4- to 5-quart slow cooker, mix beef and remaining ingredients except apricots and parsley. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 6 to 8 hours or until beef is tender.
  3. Stir in apricots. Cover; cook on Low heat setting about 15 minutes or until apricots are softened. Discard cloves, bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Sprinkle stew with parsley.
Serve over rice or couscous.

Reviews from the Brownlee Test Kitchen:
4 yr old:  "I wanted soup.  Are these carrots?"   Daddy:  "They are carrot-ish."
10 yr old:  "I'm sure it would be good if you liked sweet potatoes.  But you know that I don't like sweet potatoes."
12 yr old:  "Oh, it's great.  Except for the apricots.  Here, do you want mine that I found?"  (Should be noted that she only ate half her bowl.)
Husband:  "I like it.  It has an interesting taste.  It would also be good with chicken." (It should also be noted that my husband is the least picky person I have know.  He likes everything.)
The Cook:  "It's too heavy on the sweet potatoes.  And I like sweet potatoes!  I think I would half it next time with regular potatoes.  But I do like the cinnamon flavour."

The Verdict:  No thumbs up, 3 sideways thumbs to try it again with some changes, one four year old ignoring us to go play with her playdough.

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