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Borscht

Borscht is essentially stew made with beets.  As a girl this was one of my favorite dinners my mom would make.  I would eat bowl after bowl until it was gone.  Although what is not to love beets are one of my favorite vegetables.

This is not only a healthy but a hearty soup to fill the bellies of the whole family.  You can blend it or dice your vegetables as fine as you would like.  I prefer it chunky as this is how I grew up with it.  I have never tried making it on my own but it turned out great.  My mother is an amazing soup maker and because she always throws things together I did my best.

Now if you think it is odd to add dollop of sour cream to you stew, you need to give it a try.  Borscht requires a dollop of sour cream and it just won’t taste the same without it.

Beet Stew with a dollop of sour cream

Beet Stew with a dollop of sour cream

Borscht:

  • 1 lb. beef stew meat, cubed
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce or 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 3 medium beets, peeled and diced
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and diced (if using new or red potatoes no need to peel)
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 medium head of cabbage,diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dash Worcestershire sauce

* This could easily be made in the crock pot.  After browning the stew meat combine all in the slow cooker and combine all ingredients.  Cook over low for at least 6 hours or until vegetables are tender.

In a 5 quart pot over medium/high heat oil and brown the stew meat.  Add in tomato sauce and beef broth.

Add in remaining ingredients  except cabbage and cover the pot with a lid.  Turn heat to low and simmer for about 2 hours.

Add in the cabbage and continue to cook and additional hour.

Taste and add any additional salt and pepper.  Remove the two bay leaves.

When the beets are tender and the meat is falling apart the Borscht is ready to serve.

Dollop each bowl with a bit of sour cream and serve.

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Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

Mr.Picky came home excited years ago about Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup he had tried at a close family friends.  I was absolutely shocked because Mr.Picky dislikes soup so much.  He carried in the recipe copied for us and asked me to make it.  We had no mushrooms at the time and I kind of forgot about it the recipe in the box.

With the seasons turning it is now time to go pick wild mushrooms.  Most people find this to be scary because they are worried they will be poisoned.  I trust Mr.Picky and his mushroom skills.  He came home with 3 gallons of chanterelle mushrooms and a few huge lobster mushrooms.

Funny thing is I am in no way picky mushrooms is one of two foods I do not care for.  Most of the time I do not want to inflict my tastes on the kids so I suck it up and eat them.  We dried what we didn’t eat fresh the first day or in the soup, so now we can enjoy them throughout the rest of the year.

Back to the soup.  Once I sat down and read the recipe I realized why Mr.Picky liked it. Bacon, burger, and mushrooms are some of his favorite foods.  I made the recipe according to the directions as it was my first time.  I will probably take out the mushroom soup and make it by scratch next time.  Although this was really good and with a thick and creamy texture.  I also didn’t have just wild rice but I used a wild rice and quinoa mixture that worked well.

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup:

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

 

  • 1/2 lbs. bacon (browned drained and chopped)
  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef, browned drained and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup wild rice (can use brown)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 stalks celery,chopped
  • 2/3 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cans beef broth
  • 1 cup dried mushrooms or fresh, chopped
  • 3 (10 3/4 oz.) cans cream of mushroom soup
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper

Rinse rice in cold water until clear. Boil rice in 2 cups of water and simmer 15 min.

Saute veggies until onions are clear.

In 4 quart pan put cans of broth and cream of mushroom soup mix and heat until combined. Add remaining ingredients and season to taste with Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper.

Simmer 1 hour, serve hot with some great crusty bread to dip.

I ate half the bowl before I remembered to take a picture.

I ate half the bowl before I remembered to take a picture.

 

Shredded Beef Roast

Oh, Pinterest pictures you had me at shredded meat.  We do not eat a lot of meat but if we do I need it to be fat-free, in the sense that all visible fat or gristle has been removed.  Balsamic Roast Beef Recipe – Cooking | Add a Pinch  was the link that came up on Pinterest when I clicked on this wonderful, lean looking meat.  Mr.Picky does not like any kind of roast, but I figured if I shredded it we could call if shredded beef.  Tricky I know, but a wife has to do what a wife has to do.

So when I knew we were camping, okay so we were cheater camping.  We stayed in our uncles tiny trailer and had access to power and water.  Nonetheless we were camping with two small children.  Anyway I packed my slow cooker and away we went with a wonderful dinner.

My in-laws ended up coming with us, and I was now cooking for Mr.Picky’s picky parents.  His mom is not bad, but his father hates garlic.  Who has ever heard of a garlic hater?  Whenever I cook for his dad he always raves on and on about the food, funny part is I cook with garlic in just about everything.  I am sure you all have noticed.  My father-in-law always dislikes fat on his meat and had to explain this to me as if I didn’t know.  He assured me after my carnitas he would eat any meat I prepared because I meticulous about picking all the fat out of the meat.

So we sat and ate and ate some more.  I am sure we all had seconds and it was great, my father-in-law who doesn’t eat much any more cleaned the pans when he went back for thirds.  He couldn’t stop talking about dinner, the next morning he was still going on about how great dinner was.  Along with the shredded beef I prepared sliced fried red potatoes and onions, and corn on the cob.  Camping becomes a lot better when you get to eat so good.

For easy transport if you are taking this dish on vacation or camping, freeze the meat so it stays nice and cold.  Place the remaining ingredients in a jar and prepare like normal.  I am sure a dutch oven could make this even better, cooking on very low temperature.

Shredded Beef Roast:Shredded Beef Roast

  • 3-4 lbs. beef chuck roast
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbs soy sauce or amino acids
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3-6 cloves garlic, crushed

Combine all ingredients besides beef in a jar or just whisk together.  Pour into slow cooker and place meat on top.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours, turning meat twice in that time.  When meat if fork tender, remove to a sheet pan.

Turn juices on high and skim as much fast as you can off of the drippings or use a gravy separator.

With forks or your hands, shred the meat removing and discarding any fat or gristle on meat.

Return the meat to the juices and turn down to keep warm until ready to serve.

*Save any leftover meat and juices and stay tuned for what I did with my leftovers.

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