Ground beef stew is an easy recipe for hearty warmth and comfort in a bowl. It’s budget friendly and ready to eat in just under an hour.
Mom buys large packages of ground beef and freezes them in one pound vacuum sealed bags. It saves money and makes it easy to prepare a recipe like this for a family of six.
That might be more like a family of three or four, if you have teenage boys. That’s personal experience speaking. I may eat more than your average person. Just sayin’.
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Hamburger stew is great on a budget
For this stew, you only need one pound of ground beef. You can stretch out one pound of ground beef with these inexpensive vegetables.
Make sure to break up the ground beef as much as possible when you’re cooking it. No fair one person getting huge chunks of ground beef and someone else getting only vegetables. Am I right?!
You can add a lot of bulk to your meal just by adding onion, celery, bell pepper and canned tomatoes. If you want to stretch the meat even further, you can add about a pound or a pound and a half of cubed potatoes as well.
Typical soup seasonings
When I’m cooking, I find myself using the same seasonings frequently. These are my favorites.
- Ground Cumin Powder
- Ground Ancho Powder
I already have a mild chile Everyday Seasoning Salt Blend. I think I will work on another seasoning blend to have handy as well. Look for more blends coming soon.
Reducing the fat content in ground beef
I’ve used chuck for this ground beef stew so there will be lower fat content than other ground beef. You could use ground chicken or ground turkey instead.
You may want to add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil before cooking the vegetables to keep it from sticking. There is such a thing as too little fat content.
Did you know that you can remove almost all fat in ground beef if you strain it after cooking and then rinse it? Sometimes we will do this when we are adding sauce to the cooked ground beef. If you’re adding a sauce anyway, you might as well rinse away some of the fat, if you want.
I didn’t rinse the cooked hambruger for this recipe because I would end up having to add some oil to cook the fresh vegetables anyway. Try it both ways to see which you prefer.
For a meatless substitute, I’ve recently discovered MorningStar Farms Grillers Crumbles. It’s completely plant-based. Use vegetable stock or water instead of the beef stock in the recipe.
How to thicken a thin stew
If you want to thicken a thin stew, you could make a paste with ¼ cup water and 2 or 3 tablespoons flour or corn starch. Stir it into the stew and, as it heats, it will thicken. Add more, if necessary, until you reach your desired consistency.
If you have some instant mashed potatoes, pouring some into the stew will thicken it quickly.
Tomato paste is a good way to thicken a stew. Try some refried beans; they’re basically mashed beans and will thicken easily.
If you have a lot of liquid in your stew, you can add rice, lentils or pasta to soak some of that liquid up, but be careful. You could find yourself needing to add even more liquid to make up for too much of a loss.
What to do if there is too much salt?
Have you ever put too much salt in your soup or stew? Peel a potato and put about half of it into the pot. It will absorb some of the salt then you can remove the salty potato and discard once you’ve adjusted the sodium content.
How to remove excess fat from soups and stews
Once your soup has cooled, you can see the fat rising to the top. Dip some slices of bread into the top of the soup and it will soak up the fat. Do this quickly so you don’t soak up too much of the yummy soup.
Serve with saltines, toasted bread slices, lime squeezes, crumbled cheese and cilantro.
Looking for More Recipes?
Looking for more hearty comfort foods? Try these:
- Instant Pot Vegan Noodle Soup
- Instant Pot Steak and Mushrooms Soup
- Country Style Cube Steaks and Mushroom Gravy
- Crock Pot Chicken and Tortellini
Hamburger Soup Ground Beef Stew Recipe
- 1 pound Ground Beef Chuck
- 2 stalks Celery, chopped
- 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1 large Bell Pepper, chopped
- 1 large Onion, chopped
- 14.5 ounces Petite Diced Tomatoes
- 6 ounces Tomato Paste
- 4 ounces Mild Chopped Green Chiles
- 14.5 ounces Beef Broth
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Ground Ancho Powder
- 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 15.5 ounces Hominy, yellow or white
- In large straight sided skillet, on medium heat, crumble and brown ground beef until done, about 10 minutes.
- Drain meat, if necessary, reserving about 2 tablespoons fat and leave fat in skillet with ground beef.
- To meat, add celery, garlic, bell pepper and onion. Continue cooking on medium for about 5-7 minutes, until onions are softened and fragrant.
- To meat mixture, add tomatoes, chiles and broth. Add cumin, ancho, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir. Turn heat to low and cover. Cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add hominy to meat mixture, stir and cover. Continue cooking on low for 10 more minutes.
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