Dinner Recipe Review – $5 Dinner Mom Beef Stew
I have certain responsibilities around the apartment. One, I keep it clean, which means doing the laundry and cleaning the rats’ cage. I need to clean the kitchen and bathroom floors (in that order), ’cause they’re in need of a little help. But you know what I have to do just about every day? Cook dinner! And what better way to cook dinner than to get it from a recipe and try it out! So I’ve decided I’m going to continue to give the $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook a shot at some dishes. If you’re interested in purchasing this book click the image to the left for a link.
The book includes quite a bit on how to eat healthy, and strategically shop and plan for dinner meals for maximum effectiveness. There are LOTS of recipes, which I always appreciate.
I’ve noted about this book in a previous post that it is for a particular audience. After cooking these last recipes (I’ve cooked about seven), it is cementing it more in my mind what it’s like. Some, but not all, of the dishes, are a bit underwhelming when it comes to flavor. The last three dishes I’ve made I’ve been happier with. It reminds me of a book I have floating around somewhere in my apartment that contains Great Depression recipes. The book goes really really light on the spices, as I think they’d make the cost more than $5 per meal. So if you’re going to use the book but want more flavor from the spices you already have, you’ll have to mix them up.
This beef stew is definitely different. I actually really enjoyed the taste, it was refreshing. This stew has you meld beef stew meat and fruits in the slow cooker. After about seven hours on low you top it off with some water and rice, cook another hour, and voila beef stew. When you think of beef stew, you probably think of vegetables and a strong robust flavor much like beef stock. Not this dish!
I was intrigued by this dish because instead of putting something like beef stock into the crockpot, you put orange juice. That’s right, I know! I actually ended up putting more orange juice and more water and more rice than the recipe called for because it wanted 1.5 lb stew meat and I only had 2 lbs. I mean, who has 1.5 lb stew meat, they sell it by the pound at the store. But it all turned out okay, though it was a bit hard to mix in the crock pot at first.
This recipe combines celery, apple bits, pineapple, and cranberries to form a citrusy stew that pairs well with the meat. You can see why I think it’s different. But it came out good! One of the things, however, is that the recipe calls for fresh cranberries. I didn’t have any fresh cranberries and couldn’t find any (they’re probably not in season, I’m never good at keeping track of that stuff) so I just put dried cranberries in there. It seemed to work out well, they plumped out.
The rice gave it a good texture, the liquid wasn’t too much (though like I said I actually put in extra liquid). The stew meat surprisingly paired well with the fruit. I would definitely make this again. I tried to capture it in my bowl, but my camera crapped out:
Maus thought it was good too. It also keeps well in the fridge, so you can use it for leftovers depending on how many people you need to feed.
For the sides, I didn’t feel like cutting my own potatoes and steaming my own broccoli, so I just used store bought. I got crinkle fries, and a broccoli steamable. I’m a housewife in the future dammit, I don’t got time for that! With a little catsup and some salt, the sides paired well with the dish. At least, I think those were the sides I used, I don’t remember very well.
This took about eight hours total, with one hour of preparation (I work a little slow). If you want good apple chunks I recommend that you have an apple corer thingy so that you can get the apple into manageable easy to slice slices.
All in all, this recipe was a success! I would make it again, and I didn’t feel it lacked for flavor like several of the recipes I’ve tried.