My brother was trying to guess what food I would come up with for the letters of the alphabet during this A-Z Blog Challenge. He thought 'P' might be pressure cooker stew, or at least stew would have a mention under 'S'. Sorry, I kind of forgot about the family recipe for exceptional stew.
My mother made a great stew in her pressure cooker. I liked it because it had a broth instead of a gravy. It was a basic meat, potatoes, onions and carrots stew, though I do remember parsnips in there once.
To be perfectly honest, the pressure cooker scared me. I always had visions of it blowing up, especially when Mom would tap the gadget on the top and steam would come hissing out.
My sister-in-law has no fear, she has a pressure cooker. She has carried on the family tradition for making this stew. It shows what love can do, it conquers all fears. And this stew was a favorite of my brother's, so she makes it often.
The other family favorite was chili served on mashed potatoes. These are two meals my Mom served, and my brother and I now call them comfort foods. Mom may not have been the cookies-warm-from-the-oven type, but she did give us some fond food memories, and the actual meals keep us warm on a cold winter's night.
Not having a pressure cooker, I found my own stew recipe that my kids make, carrying on a cooking tradition. For my stew I use stewing beef, potatoes, onions and carrots (just like Mom) but I cooked mine in the oven, and now the slow cooker.
To make the gravy, add a can of cream of mushroom soup, and an envelope of onion soup mix to the raw meat and vegetables, and stir it up well. I'll admit the mixture looks gross, but when cooked tastes great. If you're making a big stew you may have to use two cans of soup. Maybe, as it cooks, you might need to add some water to keep that gravy consistency.
I made this the other day, and the smell was terrific, as my son attested to when he came to visit.
As the month is coming to a close, and I've written so much about food, I realize how much more I've cooked these last few weeks and how much I've enjoyed the food memories that are always associated with friends and family.