Tuesday, January 8, 2013

It's what's for dinner :)

I discovered a little while ago that you can take any boneless meat (beef, pork, chicken, turkey, etc) and put it in your food processor and grind it.  It comes out with the same consistency as ground meat you get in the store.  I've done it with chicken when I didn't have any ground chicken in the house.  It only occurred to me today that I should buy boneless chicken and pork when it is on sale so I can grind it and use it as I need it.  It is so much cheaper than buying it ground from the store!  And.....if you freeze the pieces of meat whole, you can defrost it and use it whole or grind it up - however you need it for your recipe.  How cool is that?

I am currently in a "use whatever  you can from the pantry" phase.  I don't want to have to move a bunch of food if/when our house sells.  So, I had the idea a few days ago to start on a shelf.  I started with the far left yesterday and used the first thing.  If I can use something else from the pantry, that is bonus!  Well tonight, the next thing was a box of scalloped potatoes.  I was so not in the mood for scalloped potatoes and especially not with the pork chops I  had in the fridge.  But, I saw a recipe on the box of potatoes that looked promising.  It was called hamburger stew.  I got inspired....and made the following.

Hamburger stew (with a twist)

1 lb ground beef (I used about 3/4 lb ground boneless pork chops) - $1.34 on sale for $1.79/lb
1 box scalloped potatoes - $1 on sale
1 small package frozen veggies (I used a can - drained) - $.50 on sale from dollar store
5 cups water
1 can stewed tomatoes (I used a pint jar of homemade pasta sauce from our garden tomatoes)
salt and pepper

Brown the meat in a large pot (medium large...not huge) and season with salt and pepper.  Once the meat is browned and drained, mix in all the other ingredients, including the seasoning packet from the boxed potatoes.  Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat  and simmer until the potatoes are tender...approximately 40-45 minutes.

I think next time, I will do it in the crockpot.  I LOVE my crockpot!  I will brown the meat and then mix everything in and cook for 8 hours on low. 

The total cost - $2.84 for a large pot of would have been $3.84 if I had to buy the tomatoes too. The pot fed all 4 of us and we have at least 2 servings leftover.  It is a very filling and hearty soup.  I'm glad that the boys LOVE leftovers!

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