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How to make Poor Man's Stew

Updated on September 30, 2016
Gina Welds-Hulse profile image

Gina is a natural health coach who helps others create a balanced, healthy, fun life and transform their nutrition/lifestyle choices.

Poor Man's Stew

Source

The inspiration - Fezzik of Princess Bride

Princess Bride is my daughter's favorite childhood movie.

There is a scene in the movie where Fezzik revived Inigo Montoya when he was drunk, feeding him a version of this simple soup or stew.

Well, one day I was trying to decide what to cook for dinner. I had not gone grocery shopping, and did not have much. I had ground beef and some fresh veggies, as well as some pantry items. I prefer to use fresh when available, but these pantry items came in handy.

In the movie, we really only get a glimpse of the potatoes and carrots, but the broth is dark in color. I'm guessing it's beef. I used ground beef, because that is what I had. I use a lot of herbs and spices when I am cooking, but especially if I have to use anything canned. The herbs such as cilantro, thyme and parsley are great to use when using canned foods, due to their detox properties.

The stew turned out a lot better than I had expected. My kids loved it, but hated the name, "Poor Man's Stew."

When you're on a limited budget, you know it doesn’t hurt to stretch the dollar. When it comes in the form of a hearty, good for you soup, all the better.

I don’t make this meal often, but I love how easily I can pull a meal together with ingredients I have on hand. If you don’t have one of the ingredients listed below, don’t be afraid to try something else. After all, that is what I did. It's how you make the recipe your own. To quote Emeril, "Kick it up a notch."

Not only is Poor Man Soup cheap, it is very easy to make and really hits the spot. I recommend serving this stew with corn bread. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds Beef, Ground
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 3 carrots chopped, or 1 can chopped carrots
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 3 large potatoes, cubed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4-5 cups vegetable or beef broth
  • 2 tbsp flour + 2 tbsp water
  • 16 oz can tomatoes, chopped and stewed
  • 1/2 tsp parsley, chopped or dried
  • 1/2 tsp cilantro, chopped or dried
  • 16 oz bottle your favorite, spaghetti sauce
  • 1/4 tsp cumin, powder or seed
  • 1 tsp sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
  • 1 can or 2 cups corn, canned or fresh
  • 1 can or 2 cups green beans, canned or fresh

Instructions

  1. In a large pan (or pot) over medium heat, melt the coconut butter & cook the ground beef until brown.
  2. Add the black pepper, thyme, garlic, oregano, onion, parsley, cilantro, cumin and salt. I personally like to add these into the meat as it is browning, to really infuse the meat with the flavors of the herbs and spices.
  3. Add in the chopped or stewed tomatoes.
  4. Add in the vegetables (potatoes, green beans, corn, carrots), which should be in bite-size pieces. Gently stir together.
  5. Add the spaghetti sauce.
  6. Add the broth of your choice. Gently stir together and let simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes.
  7. In a small bowl, combine the flour with 2 Tbsp. of water until the flour is completely dissolved & then stir it into the stew. Cover & simmer on low for another 30 minutes (if you used canned vegetables). If you used all fresh vegetables, then let simmer for an hour.
  8. Serve with corn bread or your choice of bread for dipping.

Steps 1 and 2

In a large pan (or pot) over medium heat, melt the butter & cook the ground beef until brown.  Add in your seasoning and spices.
In a large pan (or pot) over medium heat, melt the butter & cook the ground beef until brown. Add in your seasoning and spices. | Source

Step 3

Add in the stewed tomatoes.
Add in the stewed tomatoes. | Source

Step 4

Add all the vegetables.
Add all the vegetables. | Source

Step 4 contd.

Gently mix all ingredients together.
Gently mix all ingredients together. | Source

Step 5

Add the bottle of your favorite spaghetti sauce.
Add the bottle of your favorite spaghetti sauce. | Source

Steps 6 and 7

Add the broth.  Gently stir together and let simmer for about 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the flour with 2 Tbsp. of water until the flour is completely dissolved & then stir it into the stew. Cover & simmer on low for another 30 minutes (if
Add the broth. Gently stir together and let simmer for about 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the flour with 2 Tbsp. of water until the flour is completely dissolved & then stir it into the stew. Cover & simmer on low for another 30 minutes (if | Source

Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 1 hour 10 min
Ready in: 1 hour 30 min
Yields: Serves 6

Step 8

Great, when served with corn bread.  My kids loved it.
Great, when served with corn bread. My kids loved it. | Source

In closing

Did I mention that it’s healthy?

If you want to make this soup even healthier, use lean beef or turkey and keep the salt to a minimum.

You can also prepare this in a slow cooker, but it's so quick and easy, why would you go to all that trouble?

Poor Man's Stew

5 stars from 1 rating of Poor Man Stew

© 2016 Gina Welds Hulse

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    • Gina Welds-Hulse profile image
      Author

      Gina Welds Hulse 14 months ago from Rockledge, Florida

      Hi Shauna. I am glad things worked out well for you. We are blessed. I lost a lot of fruit trees, had lots of debris and lost power for 3 days. It came back on late Saturday, then we lost it again on Sunday for another few hours. There was a lot of trees damaged in the neighborhood but no homes, and no one was hurt, thank God.

      Glad you like the recipe. The corn starch slurry works perfectly.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 14 months ago from Central Florida

      This looks delicious, Gina. I think the only thing I'd do differently is make a slurry out of corn starch and water rather than flour. Corn bread sounds like the perfect accompaniment.

      I see you're in Rockledge. Brevard was the first to really get hit by Matthew. How did you fare? I'm in Longwood (NE of Orlando). We had 60-70 mph winds. Lots of tree debris in my yard but no damage and never lost power. Volusia County got hit pretty hard.

    • Gina Welds-Hulse profile image
      Author

      Gina Welds Hulse 14 months ago from Rockledge, Florida

      Hi Nellieanna. I have heard of turnip sauerkraut but I have never tried it. I love turnip greens but not the root so i am not sure if I would like the turnip sauerkraut.

      We're prepared for the storm. Praying! I'm expecting a lot of water, and if flooding does occur, I will be happy knowing my family is safe. Stuff can be replaced. People can't. Will keep you updated.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 14 months ago from TEXAS

      Oops. I didn't see my post so I tried reposting it. It came up here under the original one, so am trying to salvage the space. A great senior moment! haha. Hugs.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 14 months ago from TEXAS

      Ah! I've never made sauerkraut! With my German heritage on my Dad's side, I should know how! I've eaten it home-made, though. Have you heard of turnip sauerkraut? It's almost the same taste as with cabbage.

      By the way, I'm concerned about you and yours in the path of Hurricane Matthew.

    • Gina Welds-Hulse profile image
      Author

      Gina Welds Hulse 14 months ago from Rockledge, Florida

      Nellieanna you're so right about frozen veggies. Those will work great as well.. With cooler weather coming, I am sure this will be requested often. No soup is complete without carrots. :-) Let me know how you like it. Remember, make it yours.

      I have also added cabbage to soups but I did not have any around this time. I have some right now, but I am hoping to make some sauerkraut.

      Thanks for your feedback, Dana. I was hoping the pictures came out looking as great as the taste was.

    • shanmarie profile image

      shanmarie 14 months ago

      No doubt about originality if left to a child! Please let us know what they come up with.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 14 months ago from TEXAS

      I'm a fan of home-made soup. First of all, one knows what goes into them and controls the quality and nutrition. I've made soups and stews for so many years, it's past just historic. I really like your version! I've made them when so poor I had to boil the leftover chicken or turkey bones to rescue what little meat was salvageable!

      These days I use mostly fresh veggies but also keep some frozen ones on hand to add, such as peas, corn, green beans, which I usually would have on hand only for specific use.

      Yes, tomatoes, when not fresh, work fine canned, but I don't always add tomatoes. I think of dishes as either 'red' or not and sometimes prefer just meat stock for liquid. A fresh tomato or two, however, doesn't redden it.

      I like chicken for the meat and broth but beef is good, too. I usually start with pre-cooked meat, maybe some of what I've baked or used in a specialty dish, such as Chicken Picatta from which the slight flavor of lemon is good in the stew.

      One veggie I often add is shredded cabbage. It doesn't make it cabbage-y but adds a good thickness and lots of nutrients. Also needs onion, garlic and I love some fresh ginger root in it.

      I avoid over-cooking. I prefer it retain some of the color and shape of the veggies.

      You've inspired me to try your recipe! I have some lean ground beef in the freezer and some veggies. OH, OH. Need carrots. Can't have a soup without them! Maybe tomorrow or next week. Soon, for sure!!

      Thank you for sharing!!

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 14 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      I love Stew, especially on a cold, rainy day. Those pictures looked good enough to eat.

    • Gina Welds-Hulse profile image
      Author

      Gina Welds Hulse 14 months ago from Rockledge, Florida

      Hi Jodah. Thank you. My kids are huge food critics, so when they say a certain dish is delicious, I believe them. The aromas fill the house when cooking. It's wonderful. Let me know how you like it (when you make it) and if, and what, you added to give it your personal touch.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 14 months ago from Queensland Australia

      I love stews and soups, Gina, and this sounds and looks so good I can almost smell the aromas. Great step by step recipe that I will have to try, and great for the budget.

    • Gina Welds-Hulse profile image
      Author

      Gina Welds Hulse 14 months ago from Rockledge, Florida

      Hi Shanmarie. That IS the beauty of this. It is a very versatile recipe. I think I'll let my kids come up with a name. They are good with that sort of thing. I can tell you it will be very creative and original. LOL

    • shanmarie profile image

      shanmarie 14 months ago

      I can't begin to tell you how many times I've made a version of this stew. That's the beauty of it, though. It's so versatile and can be changed up according to whatever happens to be on hand at the time. I always try to add tomatoes. I'm a huge fan of tomatoes.

      Oh. .if your daughter doesn't like that name. ..my husband just calls it hamburger stew or hamburger soup.