Hobo Stew

One thing I think we’ve established in the short time this blog has been live is that I’m definitely not Betty Homemaker. I’m pretty clueless when it comes to most household stuff and I don’t really care that I’m that way, although I do try to be different. I really admire people who do have their households together. However, I do have one thing I do that almost always turns out great. It saves time, money and effort.

I have a little meal I make called Hobo Stew. I discovered this trick while snowed in at a mountaintop campground at the Grand Canyon when the girls were little. The people who ran the camp made this stew for those unfortunate few of us who were trapped up there and I go tthe recipe from the owner. Did I mention that the campground had an indoor, heated pool and we were in an RV? It actually turned out to be a really fun experience.

The basic recipe is a bunch of leftovers in a pot, cooked.

For those of you who love to measure and have exact amounts, this recipe is not for you. But if you have a spirit of adventure, I promise that you will love the result. Here is what you do:

  • If you have a spoonful of veggies left (green beans, carrots, corn, potatoes, peas work best) or a little beans or noodles from where you made spaghetti, put them in a big plastic tub in your freezer.
  • Keep adding a bit of this and that until the tub gets full. I use an old 3 gallon ice cream tub for this.
  • Once that tub is full, cook a pot roast and save part of the meat and all the juice. The next day you add the tub of leftover veggies, a couple of bullion cubes and an onion and simmer all day on the stove or in a crock pot. (I prefer the crock pot, because you can leave it and it’s ready later).
  • If you can’t afford a pot roast or there aren’t enough left overs, you can alternately brown one pound of ground beef or ground turkey and add that to the mix instead.
  • Season at will.

You can serve with crackers, corn bread, crusty bread or a salad. The great thing about this stew is that there are always leftovers with our family of four. That means another meal a day or two later or leftovers for lunch, but usually both. This means minimal effort with maximum results. I can cook one very simple meal and we can eat it again later. This is my all time favorite recipe and the only thing that keeps me from using it more often is that my family gets tired of eating the same thing all the time.

If you wanted to make this simple stew, but didn’t have the leftovers, you could use the following recipe. Again, measuring is for pansies. I don’t really cook that way, so you may not like my recipes.

  • 1 bag frozen mixed vegetables (avoid okra – yuck!)
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 can cooked potatoes (or you can boil the potatoes or buy them frozen)
  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey, browned
  • 1/4 onion
  • 2 bullion cubes
  • water to cover mixture
  • seasoning to taste

You can also add some noodles if you’d like, beans and additional veggies. This is a great way to use up things in your fridge that you are scared might go bad or to pull together a canned and frozen veggie meal when it is almost time to head to the store again.

Crabby Housewife

Crabby Housewife

Lori is a full-time housewife and writer, living in the Midwest with her husband of 27 years - they have two daughters. They have a house full of pets and her house is never quite perfect.