Growing up we had to eat dinner before we could go out for trick or treating… and this is what we had to eat. My mom would make a vat of it and we could eat a small bit with nervous excitement – and a bowlful after the fun for the night (and the butterflies) died down.
I’ll share the traditional recipe, but we’ve all tweaked it here and there as necessary, depending on preferences and ease of ingredients.
1 small onion
1 green pepper, diced
1 clove minced garlic
2 Tbs olive oil
1.5 lbs ground beef (sometimes I just use 2)
1/2 lb sliced mushrooms (these can be omitted)
1 can kidney beans (these can be omitted)
2 cups grated carrots
2 cans cream of mushroom soup OR 2 cups of stock
46 oz V-8 juice OR 2 cans of tomato sauce
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp pepper
Sauté the onions, pepper and garlic in the oil. Cook the ground beef thoroughly. Add in the rest of the ingredients and simmer at least half an hour – but even better if it mellows all evening. We serve it with a dollop of sour cream and bits of cheddar cheese – and bread.
This is the kind of recipe that lives on… because it works. It’s easy. And it tastes so unique – and so like all the memories of fun family times. Skål – from my Ewok and me.