Thursday, October 14, 2010

Harvest Meatball Stew

This stew just oozes fall flavors and colors. Even the kids like pumpkin this way and it's a fun change-up to the usual sweet preparation of their favorite squash. This recipe came from Cooking with Anne as my own submission to one of our Ready, Set, Cook! games. I made it up on the fly, but when I actually made it I found it was pretty spot-on. I've tweaked little bits here and there and love it the way it is now.

Harvest Meatball Stew
Printable Recipe
Hands-On Time: 20 minutes
Ready In: 1 hour and 10 minutes
Serves: 6 - 8

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 large egg - lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 clove minced garlic
4 cups beef broth
2 cups peeled pumpkin, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup peeled potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup carrots, cut into 1 inch dice
1 cup green beans in 1/2 inch lengths
1/2 cup thick applesauce or 1 apple peeled, cored and diced fine
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper to taste
flour as needed to thicken

Mix ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, nutmeg and salt together well. Form into 1 1/2 inch meatballs and brown well in a large soup pot with a little oil.
Remove meatballs and set aside.
Add onion and garlic to pot and stir over medium heat until onion is barely translucent.
Add remaining ingredients except meatballs and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Add meatballs back into pot and simmer for an additional half hour. Remove from heat and take out the bay leaf.
Return to medium heat and thicken if necessary with flour and/or cornstarch with water.