Sunday, February 16, 2014

Savory Sausage Stew

It's winter.  It's cold.  Freezing cold.  And when it is freezing cold, I want a nice, steaming hot meal to put in my belly and warm me from the inside.

With the prices of beef raising, I've been buying a lot more pork.  Actually, my mom has been raising and butchering pigs for a couple of years now and the last time we purchased a half hog it came out to be about $1.79 per pound - you can't beat that price, not compared to beef.  Believe it or not, I actually prefer the taste of sausage as the meat over beef.  I think it has a lot more flavor.  So if you don't have any health or religious concerns with eating pork, then dig on in...

Anyways, we love this stew.  It's so easy and it comes out to be about $6 and lasts us for 2 full meals plus an extra serving or two left over.  That's feeding one very healthy husband, one growing and voracious 4-year old boy, and myself.  The best part about stew is that you can modify the recipe as much as you would like to your own tastes.  Omit certain spices or ingredients, and throw in others.  Throw some caution to the wind and get cooking!

Chunky stewed tomatoes are my favorite part about stew.

1 lb. pork sausage
2 Tbs savory seasoning
2 Tbs minced onion (or you could use a medium onion)
1 tsp fennel
1/2 to 1 tsp of salt - depending on personal preference
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Cinnamon?  Yes, I said cinnamon.  If you're afraid, just skip it.  Cinnamon actually goes really well with pork.  Like I said previously, the best part about stew is that you can modify it however you would like.  The cinnamon adds just a touch of depth and sweetness that I personally enjoy.

If you're sensitive to spice, you can also omit the ground cayenne pepper.  My 4-year old will eat this stew without complaining that it's spicy.  It's just enough hint of spice, but not hot enough that he can't eat it.

Look at all those delicious spices.

All you need to do is ground the sausage and drain the fat.  In a large pot, combine the cooked sausage with the spices and a can each of: stewed tomatoes, green beans, sliced new potatoes, carrots, peas, and corn.  Bring to a boil then let it simmer on the stove for about an hour, covered so too much water doesn't evaporate.  Serve it up with a side of yeast dinner rolls or some biscuits, and you have comfort food at it's finest.

The general result of this meal at my dinner table.

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