If you love beef stew but don't really have the time to cook the beef and make the stew, try this recipe that uses meatballs. You can even speed up the process by using frozen ready-made meatballs.
4 cups water
2 medium russet potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 medium carrots, cut into 3/4-inch slices
1 large onion, cut into chunks
2 tbsp beef bouillon granules
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 medium zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch slices
1 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 tsp browning sauce, optional
In a large Dutch oven, bring the water to a boil. Add the russet potatoes, carrots, onion, bouillon, bay leaf, thyme, basil, salt and pepper. Return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
While the above simmers, combine the ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, and Worcestershire sauce. Shape into 1-inch balls. Add meatballs to the Dutch oven along with the sweet potatoes and zucchini. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for another 15 minutes or until veggies are tender.
Discard the bay leaf. Stir in the peas. Combine the flour and cold water; stir into the stew along with the browning sauce, if using. Bring to a boil and cook and stir for a couple of minutes until thickened.
Yield: 6 servings.