Friday, November 9, 2012

Ground Beef Hobo Stew

Hobo Stew, made with ground beef, a mixture of vegetables, canned tomatoes and V-8.

Ground Beef Hobo Stew

Pantry friendly and adaptable, I just love this stew. In some variation and often depending on the type of meat you use, you may know this dish by the names of Campfire Stew, Girl Scout Camp Stew, Hobo Stew, Ground Beef Stew, Beggar Stew, Mulligan Stew, or V8 Stew - just to name a few. I just settled on calling it a Ground Beef Hobo Stew.

Historically, a basic Dutch oven style stew that dates back to the early 1900s, it was slow cooked over the coals of an open campfire, often in a can (remember that from Girl Scouts?), or made up in a large casserole style foil packet. It was a communal dish, often enhanced by the next contributor who showed up through the woods, with whatever he had. If you were a Girl Scout, you may well remember this camp-out routine, where we were each asked to each bring along a can of some kind of vegetable from home, which then got added to our own campfire stew. Oh the memories of those days! We'll just keep it easy and take it stovetop or crockpot here.

There really aren't any hard and fast rules as to what goes in it, except some kind of meat, potatoes, a mixture of veggies and not much liquid. What else you add in, depends on what you have on hand and that is why I love it so much. It is a stew though, not a soup, so it should be thick and hearty, although with more liquid added, it also makes a mighty fine soup.

For my stew, I like to use V-8 as my primary liquid. I actually like and used to drink V-8 regularly, and no, not only in a Bloody Mary, though I certainly have enjoyed one of those a time or two in my life. I used to add it to soups and stews where I used tomatoes,  though I'm not really quite sure why I stopped, except that V-8 got a little more expensive than my budget allowed, and it wasn't really a pantry staple for me like canned tomatoes are. The blend of veggies in tomato juice found in V-8 is a perfect accent though for just about any soup or stew where you normally use tomatoes, so it's really no secret that cook's have been enhancing recipes with it for years.

This really is a wonderful stew, thick, hearty, filling - just perfect for these chilly days, and very easily adaptable to the slow cooker. While not everybody does, I prefer to brown and drain ground meat before adding it to a crockpot recipe, but other than that, it's just dump all the ingredients in and let it cook till the veggies are tender.


Here's how to make my version of Hobo Stew.

Recipe: Ground Beef Hobo Stew

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 2 hours | Yield: About 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 cup of chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup of chopped mixed sweet and hot peppers
  • 1/2 cup of celery
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1-1/2 pounds of ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups of beef stock or broth
  • 3 (11.5 ounce) cans of original or spicy V-8, or tomato juice
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups of fresh diced carrots (about 2 large)
  • 2 cups of corn
  • 2 cups of cut green beans
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • Couple dashes of hot sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
Instructions

In the bottom of a Dutch oven or other heavy pot, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, peppers and celery; cook and stir until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and ground beef, cook and stir until meat is browned and cooked through. Drain off excess fat. Sprinkle meat with flour; cook and stir for 3 minutes. Add the beef stock, V-8 juice and diced tomatoes. Stir in the potatoes, carrots, corn and green beans. Add Worcestershire, hot sauce and seasonings to taste. Stir, cover and simmer over medium to medium low (low bubble) for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until veggies are tender, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Hobo stew can be served as is, or spooned over rice or mashed potatoes. Serve with hot cornbread, biscuits or rolls.

Cook's Notes: Use other meats such as stew meat, venison, bacon, Italian sausage, smoked sausage, andouille or kielbasa - all good choices. If using a stewing type of meat, allow it to cook in the base veggies and juice for about 1 hour before adding in the vegetables. Use fresh or frozen vegetables, or may substitute 1 can of drained carrots, corn and cut green beans or use a variety of other vegetables or beans, such as mixed vegetables, shredded cabbage, black-eyed peas, pinto beans, hominy, turnips, kidney beans, great northern beans, lima beans. You'll want around 5 to 6 cups fresh or frozen, or about 3 (15 ounce) cans. If using canned vegetables, allow the potatoes and carrots to cook for 30 minutes before adding in the canned vegetables.

Also okay to use lower sodium or spicy V-8, but taste stew to adjust seasonings up or down as needed. If using spicy, take into consideration hot peppers and other spicy seasonings you use. May also substitute a can of Rotel tomatoes for the diced, if desired.

Crockpot: Saute the vegetables and brown the meat as above; add that along with the remaining ingredients to a 6 quart slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours or until veggies are tender.

Variation: To convert to a Hobo Soup, increase the beef stock/broth to about 4 cups or to desired consistency.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on November 9, 2012
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38 comments:

  1. I'm listening to the wind howl outside, and I'm thinking this is a perfect recipe for a day like today!

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  2. This sounds yum! I need to try this today :)

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  3. I could eat hamburger stew all winter long, I usually add about a tablespoon of light brown sugar to mine to cut the acid a little, otherwise mine is just like yours. Love it!
    ~Dorothy~

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  4. I had requested this from you a good while back, but this is the perfect time to get the recipe. My husband tasted the stew at a former hunting camp and has been wanting the recipe. I can just taste it...it's perfect. Thanks so much. Susan

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    1. Yes! It FINALLY chilled off a little down here too Sue. I hope that this is somewhat like you wanted - enjoy!!

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  5. Looks really tasty Mary - like a thick veggie soup.

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  6. We make a similar recipe using the crockpot many times during cold weather months... makes a quick, healthy weeknight meal that's ready the minute we walk in the door!

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  7. Forget the potatoes, I now want THIS for breakfast!

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  8. This stew had my house smelling like heaven and my mouth watering while waiting for it to finish cooking. What a payoff. It is delicious! Will definitely make this again.

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    1. Thanks so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it and I really appreciate you stopping back by to share. Thank you!!

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  9. Made 5 gallons of this for our last football tailgate party of the year and everyone loved it. Made some for my parents and they loved it, too. Awesome recipe, thanks!!

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    1. You're welcome Rick & thanks for stopping by to let me know!

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  10. My husband made this today .
    It was really good.
    Thanks for posting the recipe. :)

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome! I'm so glad y'all enjoyed it & thank you SO much for stopping back by to let me know! Happy New Year!!

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  11. I saw this recipe shared on my aunt's page and she raved about it. It is working on the stove right now and my two kids (7 and 4) keep getting their coats and boots on to go outside (it's about 30* here in WY) so they can get fresh air - to come back in and smell the stew all over again! We are anxiously awaiting for it to be ready! Thank you for sharing this!

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    1. Oh my goodness, that is so funny & I love it!! Thanks so much for sharing that story & I sure hope they enjoyed it!!

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    2. Mary - loved it! My son (7) is so picky and ate his. My daughter (4) ate two bowls! And.... today we ate the leftovers for lunch, so good!!!

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    3. Thank you so much for letting me know!

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  12. This stew was delicious!! I didn't add any of the hot ingredients but that is because I don't do hot, it was still very very good!! I will make again

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it Tonia & thanks for letting me know!

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  13. How many servings does this make?

    Thanks,
    Haley

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    1. Hi Haley! I estimated 6 to 8 however, that really depends on appetites & what else you serve with it, so that's just an educated guess to be honest!

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  14. I am making hobo stew for a large group in outdoor kettle over fire. I will be making about 15 gallons. How much does your recipe make, so I can multiple the quantity not the servings?

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    1. Hi Annette! You know... I did not measure this out by volume - my serving size suggestions are really only that - suggestions - since appetites among family members can vary greatly! I make this is a 6 quart pot and although that is not filled to the brim you can estimate that at right about 1-1/2 gallons for this recipe. Of course with that large of a group, you should probably stretch the ground beef and use more veggies instead. I'd think that 10 pounds of ground beef would be plenty enough.

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  15. Hi this looks like a great recipe to make while I'm camping this weekend....I wondered should I make this all up before hand or cook it all on the fire while we are there?

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    1. You can do either, but it works just fine cooked right on the campfire. That's the way we did it at Girl Scout camp!! Just make sure it's not in too hot an area on the grate and stir it up from the bottom often so it doesn't burn.

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  16. This was AMAZING!!!! Thanks for sharing!!!!

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    1. Thank you so much for letting me know you enjoyed it Amanda!

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  17. My momma used to make the hobo (hamburger) soup. She used canned tomatoes. I don't have her recipe unfortunately. I prefer not to use v8 but don't know how to figure out amount of tomatoes, what else to use. Any help would be so appreciated. TY.

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    1. Hi Lori! Stew is pretty forgiving so just add more liquid of your choice. Since you want more of a soup, I'd go with more broth and add another can of diced or crushed tomatoes.

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  18. This is a GOOD day for this stew. Coldd and much snow here in Detroit, MI

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    1. It's been one wicked winter this year hasn't it?!

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  19. I'm not from the south. What is the ingredient hot and sweet pepper mix? Can you buy it or do you have to make it?

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    1. Hi! It's not an already mixed commercial product, but just a mix of both chopped fresh, raw, sweet bell peppers - like green, yellow, orange and red bell peppers - along with some hot peppers such as jalapenos, green chilies, poblanos, depending on the heat level you're looking for. If you don't want the spice, you can just use the bell peppers.

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  20. Any idea of how many calories?

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