Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday Stew Special #4 - Candy Cane Goulash

In my bag of produce from our community's Harvest Box program, I was introduced to a new veggie, Candy Cane Beets.  When you slice them open they are so pretty - bright pink & white swirls, just like a peppermint.

I decided to use them for my Sunday Stew Special, with potatoes, ground beef, and sour cream.  Since I couldn't find any slow cooker recipe for this, I had to invent my own.


1 lb ground beef
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium candy cane beets, chopped
5 medium potatoes, chopped
salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp thyme

Scramble fry the ground beef, adding onion and garlic at end to brown.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, & thyme.
Pour 3/4 cup water in bottom of crock pot, adding beets, potatoes, & ground beef mixture.  Stir together.

I cooked it on low for 7 hours, but I found the beets a little undercooked, so 8-10 hours would have been better.  Stir a cup of sour cream into stew before serving.  Garnish with sour cream & sauerkraut if desired.

This was totally experimental, so I was sad to see that the nice, stripey pattern on the beet disappeared after being in the slow cooker.  The colours all leached and blended together, leaving the beet an odd grayish, purple shade.  Ah well.  Cover them with enough sour cream, and no one will notice.

We had some of our daughters' friends over for lunch, so they got to be part of the
Brownlee Test Kitchen Reviews:

Most of the kids had never tried a beet before.  They were pleasantly surprised!  I think they expected them to taste like turnips or brussel sprouts.

Husband:  I'm disappointed in the colour.  It's a good flavour combo, but I'd like it a little saucier.  He likes it saucy!
Homestay Student:  Speaking through her stuffed up nose, I'm not a really good person to ask right now.  I can't taste anything!    I like the texture though - nice and creamy.
10 Year old Daughter - It's really good, especially the sour cream.  It's a little undercooked though.
11 Year old Friend - I was giving her a second helping before I had even tasted mine, I love the beets! I'm sooooo hungry.  She ate three helpings.
12 Yr old Daughter - It's alright.  I like the beets.
13 Yr Old Friend - Holding up a potato, Is this a beet?  When told what the beets looked like she replied, Oh, I already ate one.  I liked it!  I thought it was a potato.  The flavours are really good together and I like the sour cream.
4 Year Old - While we were encouraging her to take a bite, one of the big girls said, It's so good - it taste like candy!  So she replied, It tastes like candy!  I pressed her to come up with her own answer.  It tastes like chocolate.  Ummmmm...sure.
The Cook - I'm sad the swirls didn't show up on the beets;  roasting would probably work better.  If I made it again , I would make a sour cream sauce and mix it right in with the ground beef.  I'd slow cook it longer too.

The Verdict:
4 Thumbs Up
2 Thumbs Down
2 Sideways Thumbs to try again.

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