Monday, November 26, 2012

Shipwreck Stew

As a kid with an overactive imagination, I loved regaling in stories of shipwrecked pirates eating this hearty, simple stew made from what they had on hand.  I imagine now it was just some clever story my Mom invented to get me to eat my dinner.   

The great thing about this one pot wonder is it's versatility.  You can add whatever you happen to have in the kitchen, from extra veggies to cheese.  It's all fair game.  This is one of my favorite comfort meals when the weather turns cold.  

Shipwreck Stew

Serves 6

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 pound of ground sirloin
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
Kosher salt & freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
2 medium size russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 (14.5 ounce) can of kidney beans, undrained
1 can Campbell’s condensed tomato soup
6 to 8 slices center cut bacon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and saute until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.  Add the ground sirloin and thyme and season generously with salt and pepper.  Taste for seasonings and drain off any excess fat.

Meanwhile, place the cubed potatoes in a single layer in the bottom of a 4-quart covered casserole dish.  Pour the undrained kidney beans over potatoes, then add the meat and the onion mixture.  Top the whole thing with the tomato soup, making sure to go all the way to the edge to form a seal.  Lay the bacon slices over the top and cover with the lid.  Bake for 30 minutes covered, then remove the lid and cook for another 20-25 minutes.  It’s done when the whole thing is bubbling, the bacon is crisp, and the potatoes are tender when a knife is inserted in the middle.

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