This dish goes back to early adult years when swapping recipes was the way I learned to cook. After going to someone’s home and they served a delicious meal to your liking, you asked if they would be willing to share the recipe. I don’t think the “Joy Of Cooking” cookbook came into the house until much later.
Now, as the days grow shorter and the weather gets chillier, I reach for “comfort” foods that warm my spirits. By nature, this recipe is uncomplicated and easily created by chopping, slicing and throwing all ingredients into a pot and baking.
Afters years of experience in the kitchen, reading and collecting all kinds of cookbooks, food magazines, watching cooking shows, we can debate this simple recipe.
1. Brown or Not To Brown
I recently read an extensive essay about the benefits from browning meats before slow-cooking. I personally think browning meats and sauteing vegetables gives a depth of flavor you do not get otherwise, plus a deeper color to the stock.
2. Crock Pot or Dutch Oven
I know crock pots are the rage right now, but with smart ovens and the ability to set a start time and cook time with a button, the oven is my choice. Besides, fewer gadgets in small kitchen is a plus!
3. Replacing Canned Consomme with Better Than Bouillion
I have chef friends that have confided in me they have been known to use Better Than Bouillon when they don’t have homemade stock on hand. I keep chicken carcasses and beef bones in the freezer for soups, but keeping the Better Than Bouillon in your pantry can come in handy and makes a hearty stock.
All said and done, this dish was prepared from the original recipe with the exception of the flour (I did not use flour because I was not going to brown first and I don’t like the taste of uncooked flour) so I doubled the breadcrumbs. I used the Better Than Bouillon (Beef Base) instead of the canned product. I have to admit that this is one dish if you want to keep it simple it is “not necessary to brown”!