Soups and Stews

Big Mama's Eclectic Goulash 
4 tablespoons Olive oil (divided in half)
2 to 3 lbs Thick cut London broil cut into bite sizes (or stew beef)
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
2 large sweet onions sliced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup of water
1/4 cup of beet juice (some recipes called for beet juice and some for red wine) 
2 cups beef broth or stock
1/2 cup roasted red peppers diced
1/4 cup Hungarian sweet paprika no substitutes on this one. (sounds like a large amount but it really works in this recipe)
4 oz sour cream

Preheat oven to 350*. I put my beef cubes in a large bowl. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the beef, covering well, then add flour to beef and coat well.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a Dutch Oven. Brown beef and return back to bowl, this you might have to do in batches, because you don't want to crowd the beef. 
After all of the beef is browned and removed from the pan, add in the other 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then onions, garlic and 1/2 cup of water. Make sure you scrape the bottom of the pan after you add the water in to get all of the yummy beef bits off of the bottom.
When onions are soft and translucent add in your beet juice and cook just until beet juice is heated. It turns a lovely shade of hot pink.
Then stir in the red peppers, paprika and broth in this order, making sure each is incorporated before adding the next.
Add your beef back into pot, making sure you add in all the beef juice that has accumulated at the bottom of the bowl.
Stir once again making sure all ingredients are mixed in and cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake in a 350* oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until beef is fork tender. Right before you are ready to eat uncover and stir in sour cream until fully integrated. Serve over hot buttered egg noodles. If I don't have egg noodles I use whatever pasta is in the pantry or even rice.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1lb Smoked Sausage or Keilbasa, sliced into 1/8 of an inch circle slices
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small bell pepper, chopped (any color)
1 stalk of celery, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
3 cups (about) cooked chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
2 cups frozen okra
2 tablespoons flour
1- 32 oz. chicken broth/stock
3 to 4 cups hot cooked rice

Heat olive oil in Dutch Oven on medium heat.
Cook sausage, onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, salt and black pepper.
Cook until veggies are tender. Stir in crushed red pepper and paprika.
Add in Chicken and Okra, cook until okra is thawed and heated through.
Sprinkle the flour over gumbo 1 tablespoon at a time stirring thouroughly after each.
Pour in broth mix well, heat until ist reaches a boil, cut back heat to low and cook for 50 to 60 min.
To serve I place 1/4 cup of rice in a soup/pasta bowl and cover with 1 to 2 ladles of gumbo.
Goes well with garlic toast and sweet tea!

Sometimes I use 1 lb. of uncooked Chorizo no casings. It browns up like hamburger.
The beauty of cooking is you can adjust recipes to your family's taste and make them your own.

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