Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Eve Eve Beef Stew and Johnny Cakes

It was Christmas Eve Eve!!!! And all through the house... it smelled like BEEF STEW!!!! Ok, I know it didn't rhyme... :P

My husband's gram makes soup and Johnny Cakes. I had NEVER heard of Johnny Cakes before. Some people call it fry bread. Some call it johnny cakes. Some call it something completely different. I don't even know...  I call it GOOD! You can make them from homemade bread dough, or from frozen. Simple!

As for the beef stew, I had never made it before. And  no recipe I looked at sounded appealing. It just was not what I had in my head. So I took what was in my head and put it in my dutch oven. And it was perfect. For me at least. It was exactly what I wanted. Hope it is for you too!

Beef Stew:

2 pounds of stew meat or roast, cubed
1/4 flour
Garlic salt 
1/3 cup onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 box of beef stock (4 cups)
1 package onion soup mix
2-3 cups of water
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 ribs of celery, chopped
2 cups red or thin skinned potatoes, cubed

Dredge meat in flour. Sprinkle with garlic salt. Heat dutch oven or stock pot with 2TBSP of oil over medium high heat. Add meat, lightly brown on sides. You are not cooking meat the whole way through, just getting browning the outside. Only takes a few minutes. Add onions halfway through browning. When meat is browned, stir in cream of mushroom soup and beef stock. Mix 2 TBSP of water with the onion soup mix and add it in as well. Add about a cup or so of water and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, then turn it down to a simmer. Simmer with lid half on the pot so some steam is able to escape for 1 to 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally.  Add carrots, celery, potatoes and the rest of the water. Simmer on low heat about 30 minutes or until the potatoes and carrots are soft, stirring as needed. 

Johnny Cakes
Frozen bread dough or frozen rolls. (I used 24)

Follow the thawing directions on the roll package. Let them rise. ( I get these ready right after my meat is browned for my stew. By the time the stew is done, my rolls are ready to fry)
Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in a skillet. You know it is ready when you touch the dough to the oil and it sizzles. Stretch each dough ball like you would a pizza crust. Fry it for a few seconds on each side until it is done.  This does not take long. Dip in the soup and enjoy! 

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