1.25.2010

football stew & buttermilk biscuits

This recipe is a favorite of my mom's because it's so easy and tasty. It's one of my favorite meals as well, especially when the weather is dark and rainy, like today. I'm adding a few modifications to the recipe, because my slow cooker is smaller than my mom's. I didn't take that into account and the broth overflowed a bit. I have a 4-quart slow cooker. I'm listing amounts for my size (the lower amount) as well as the exact recipe from my mom (the higher amount). If your slow cooker is even smaller, adjust accordingly.

football stew
makes 10-12 servings (great as leftovers!)

2 lbs. beef, cubed (any sort of roast/hunk of beef will work in the slow cooker!)
4-5 medium potatoes, chunk
5-6 celery stalks, thick sliced
5-6 carrots, thick sliced
2-3 onions, chunk
approximately 20 oz. of tomato juice (2 inches deep in slow cooker)
3 tbsp. minute tapioca (to thicken)
3 tsp. salt
3-4 tbsp. sugar (go higher if you use more tomato juice)

Mix the meat and vegetables together in the slow cooker. Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the top. Pour enough tomato juice to fill the slow cooker at least 2 inches deep. (Mom uses a full 20 oz. can which is more than 2 inches in her slow cooker. I couldn't find so I used a larger can and guessed the amount. When I make it again, I'll probably use a little less so it doesn't overflow in my smaller slow cooker.)

Cook on low for 8 hours.

UPDATES: If you can't find tomato juice, substitute a 6 oz can of tomato paste and chicken/beef stock. We've also tried swapping a couple carrots out for turnips and it turned out great (3 carrots + 4 turnips instead of 5-6 carrots). And if you have a too-small slow cooker like us and don't want to shrink the recipe, you can bake this in a dutch oven at 250 degrees for 6-8 hours, but do add extra liquids.

Football stew goes great with my mom's super easy buttermilk biscuits!

buttermilk biscuits
makes a dozen

2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. (1 stick) margarine
3/4 c. buttermilk

In a bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Cut in margarine until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk all at once. Stir the dough with a fork until it clings together.

On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough gently for 10 to 12 strokes — DON'T OVER KNEAD or your biscuits will be tough! Roll or pat the dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter (or anything that will work similarly), dipping the cutter into flour between cuts to prevent sticking.

Transfer biscuits to an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in a 400F degree oven for 10-12 minutes, or until they are golden brown.

Some notes...
  • If you don't have buttermilk, measure 2 1/4 tsp. white vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup and add enough milk to make 3/4 c. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes. The biscuits won't turn out any different than if you used buttermilk!
  • For sour cream biscuits, replace the buttermilk with 1/2 c. sour cream and 1/4 c. milk.
  • For plain biscuits, replace buttermilk with 2/3 c. milk.
This is the first of four soup recipes I'm attempting as part of my concrete aspirations for this year. I originally planned to start with French Onion but decided that would be an invite-friends-over sort of meal. Because who wants to spend hours making a meal and then not share it? (Apparently it's time consuming but not too difficult). So I'm waiting until we can do just that.
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