I loved Dinty Moore Beef Stew when I was a kid. A whole meal in a can, and great comfort food for a cold day.
Well it's cold here in San Diego this week. Cold like we have to cover the plants to protect them from freezing cold. This seems like the right time for some Dinty Moore Beef Stew. Except that, since I am no longer a kid, I check the nutritional label and find that it's got a lot of calories, saturated fat and sodium. Things that my no-longer-a-kid body cares about.
Good news, I can make beef stew myself - and put all of the things that I like in it! And I can use my pressure canner to preserve lots of jars of it for more days when I want the convenience of a quick meal, but the wholesome goodness of a homemade meal.
Note: If you don't want to can it, this recipe can be cut in half for a more manageable sized meal. Just cook the stew and additional 30 - 45 minutes, or until it has thickened and the potatoes and carrots are soft.
- 4 to 5 lb beef stew meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 12 cups cubed and peeled potatoes (about 12 medium)
- 8 cups sliced carrots (about 16 small)
- 3 cups chopped onion (about 4 small)
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1-1/2 Tbsp salt
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1-1/2 Tbsp pepper
- 7 (32 oz) quart or 14 (16 oz) pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands
1. Prepare a pressure canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
2. Brown the meat in oil in a large saucepot. Add vegetables and seasonings to browned meat. Cover with boiling water. Bring stew to a boil. Remove from heat.
3. Ladle the hot stew into hot jars leaving 1 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.
4. Process filled jars in a pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure 1 hour and 15 minutes for pints and 1 hour and 30 minutes for quarts, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.
This was really good. I added a can of corn to a quart of this and served it with crusty Italian bread. Wonderful meal that brought back memories of being a kid (and my no-longer-a-kid body didn't have to pay the price)!