Poor Man’s Stew


This Poor Man’s Stew is budget friendly, hearty, and packed with flavor. Ground beef, fluffy potatoes, and veggies are simmered in a thick and flavorful broth, then topped with sour cream and cheese.

bowl of poor man's stew held one hand

This humble and hearty stew really hits the spot on a cold winter night! Not only is this a “stick to your ribs” kinda meal, it comes together quickly, and is very budget friendly!

What is poor man’s stew?

Poor Man’s Stew is essentially a budget friendly beef stew. Traditional beef stew calls for more expensive cuts of meat whereas Poor Man’s Stew is made with ground beef which brings the cost down…hence the name! Both are often full of potatoes, veggies, and a thick and flavorful broth.

Ingredients

This stew is packed with meat and veggies for a super hearty dinner!

  • Ground Beef – beef is the classic poor man’s stew meat but ground turkey or a blend of both will also work.
  • Yellow Onion, Celery, and Carrot – a simple veggie blend to give the dish a boost of flavor and nutrients.
  • Garlic – adds that subtle nutty taste.
  • Salt, Pepper, Dried Oregano, and Smoked Paprika – a simple seasoning blend that gives the stew a sweet, smoky, slightly spicy flavor.
  • Potatoes – I use Yukon gold for their light, fluffy texture but russet potatoes will work as well if that’s what you have on hand. Potatoes are an affordable way to bulk up a meal!
  • Condensed Tomato Soup and Beef Broth – the base for the stew. The condensed tomato soup gives a thick, slightly creamy texture while the beef broth adds delicious flavor.
  • Shredded Cheese and Sour Cream – optional, but highly recommended for serving!
Pro tip
Use whatever ground meat is on sale at the store to keep costs down!

How to make

This delicious meal takes 15 minutes to prep!

  1. Heat a stockpot over medium heat then add in beef, onion, celery, carrots, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, and paprika. Cook until the beef is browned and the veggies are tender.veggies and beef cooked in stockpot
  2. Drain the grease then add in potatoes, tomato soup, and broth. Simmer until the potatoes are tender and the broth has thickened.broth and potatoes added to stockpot
  3. Taste and re-season if necessary then serve with cheese and sour cream/greek yogurt!finished poor man's stew in stockpot
Pro tip
If you’re looking to bulk up this meal even more, throw some cornbread in the oven while this cooks on the stove!

How to thicken

This stew is already very thick, but if you prefer an even thicker stew, try simmering the stew longer, mashing up some of the potatoes, or stirring in a cornstarch slurry.

Pro tip
To make a cornstarch slurry, whisk together equal parts water and cornstarch. Add very little bits at a time to the simmering stew, until the desired consistency has been reached!

Variations

I love this Poor Man’s Stew as-is but you can definitely change things up as well! Here are some ideas.

  • Add other veggies. Pretty much any veggies will work! Try peas, green beans, sweet potato, you name it.
  • Use different meat. Ground turkey or chicken will work as well.
  • Spice it up. Kick the heat up a notch with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.
  • Make it creamy. Prefer a creamy stew? Add in a splash of half-and-half or heavy cream.

bowl of poor man's stew above

What to serve with poor man’s stew

This Poor Man’s Stew is packed with veggies and protein from the beef, but I do love to serve it up with one or two yummy sides! Don’t forget the sour cream and shredded cheese!

How to store

Leftover stew will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months.

To reheat, thaw in the fridge if frozen then microwave or heat on the stove.

– Jennifer

bowl of poor man's stew above

Print

Poor Man’s Stew

This Poor Man's Stew is budget friendly, hearty, and packed with flavor. Ground beef, fluffy potatoes, and veggies are simmered in a thick and flavorful broth, then topped with sour cream and cheese.
Course Dinner, Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword easy, ground beef, tomato soup
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 312kcal
Author Jennifer Debth

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 3 carrots sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste (I used about 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes peeled and cubed (about 6)
  • 1 (10.5 oz) can condensed tomato soup
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • Shredded cheese for serving
  • Sour cream or greek yogurt for serving

Instructions

  • Heat a stockpot over medium heat.
  • Once hot, add in beef, onion, celery, carrots, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, and paprika.
  • Cook, breaking up the meat as you go, until the beef is no longer pink and the carrots are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Drain the grease, then place the stockpot back on the heat.
  • Stir in potatoes, tomato soup, and broth.
  • Bring to a simmer, then simmer, uncovered, stirring regularly, until potatoes are tender and the broth has thickened, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Taste, re-season, if necessary, and serve with shredded cheese and sour cream/greek yogurt.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1person | Calories: 312kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 964mg | Potassium: 1373mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 5524IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 4mg

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