If you have been following along, you know that I am on the verge of a move...on most days, this might seem like a terrible thing to be on the verge of, but as the clock ticks and the days turn to weeks and months, tis far better to be on the verge of a move than a nervous breakdown, murder, drinking or binge eating...all of which become possibilities when embarking on a move. If you've been following along, you also know that I am attempting to clean out the freezer and cupboards. Today's attempt was a mighty fine success if I don't say so myself. I actually used one of the many "tools" out there where you plug in ingredients and it spits out possibilities..I LOVE THIS! I can't believe I haven't used it before, but then again, this blog is about cooking from my Grandma's recipe boxes, so usually I am buying ingredients to satisfy recipes versus looking for recipes to use up ingredients. So here's what I plugged in "Stew meat, canned tomatoes, beer" and the recipe I landed on was called "Carne Guisada", also known as Tex-Mex Stew. The recipe that is the foundation of what I prepared came from a blog called Homesick Texan. (http://homesicktexan.blogspot.com/2009/01/carne-guisada-tex-mex-stew.html). I have visited this blog a few times previously and enjoyed the reading, but since I live in Texas, I didn't necessarily "relate". I do wonder if I will experience the same feelings after my move. I also have to give some credit for this recipe to some of my on-line chat friends at Epi...they often give me ideas. Here is my version of Carne Guisada..
Carne Guisada 1 1/2 lbs beef stew meat 4 TBS Canola oil l medium onion chopped (I used a purple onion because it is what I had) 5-6 cloves chopped garlic 3 chopped jalapenos (I think mine were jalapenos - came from the plant in my yard and it isn't marked - I removed the seeds) 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes (I think it was 28 oz - again - just cleaning out the pantry) 1 bottle Shiner Bock beer (A fine beer to use in a good Texas recipe - although many would say it should be used for drinking, not cooking) 1 TBS cumin 1 TBS chili powder 1 tsp Oregano 1 Bay Leaf Cilantro (I didn't have fresh - but had bottled - so of course I used it) Brown the stew meat in 2 TBS of canola oil. Remove from pan, add remaining 2 TBS of oil, cook onions about 10 minutes, add garlic and peppers, cook another minute. Add spices, tomatoes and beer. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer approx 4-5 hours. If you don't want the meat broken up, you can reduce the cooking time.
Of course, my grandma didn't have the internet to help her figure out how to use ingredients..truth is, she probably didn't need it...and I am pretty sure she wouldn't just throw food away..she wasn't wasteful, which with out one of these new internet/online websites, I would be throwing things away because when you are on the "verge" of anything, finding recipes just isn't at the top of the list.
A while ago I inherited my grandma's recipe boxes, in fact 7 of them and for quite some time I have been wondering what to do with all those recipes. Well, I finally figured it out, I am going to cook my way through those boxes, I'll share the recipes and pictures of the food I cook with you. Along the way we'll laugh a little, remember a few things from our past and I hope some of the aromas from my kitchen make their way to heaven and make my grandma smile. This is going to be fun and I'm looking forward to sharing it all with you!