I dislike wasting food, I really do. I suppose I got that from my mom and grandma—who both lived through world war II, when wasting food was considered a crime. Even though I’m 35 and (thank God), not ever having experienced war and hunger, I still think it’s a crime to waste food.
Pretty much everything in my fridge is used until it’s all gone. I go to the market for fresh vegetables and herbs once a week and what I don’t use up by the end of the week I simply turn into a soup, stew, chicken pot pie or even home made broth. Over the years it made for quite a few surprising flavor combinations and fantastic dishes.
This is an ideal way to use up those small hands of green beans, lonesome carrots, wandering mushrooms and halved bell peppers taking up space in your fridge. What’s even better is you’re not limited to specific meats. You can add anything you like, throw in some leftover turkey or chicken, some coarsely cut up pork chops or even bacon will do the trick.
1 pound potatoes
2 bell peppers
5oz green beans
1 cup beef broth
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5oz)
1 tbsp paprika powder
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp oil
2 bell peppers. Red makes for quite a pretty color contrast, so use at least one red pepper. Coarsely chop them, no need to be fussy about it.
Also chop two onions. I went for larger ones, but feel free to wimp out and go for medium onions :) You can also grate some garlic in there as well, I didn’t because I’m using chorizo.
I peeled and sliced two medium carrots. Don’t make the slices too thin!
Fresh, pretty green beans. Green beans are so photogenic. Trim both ends and cut them in half.
Now whatever you do, don’t use starchy potatoes. You’ll turn the whole thing into a soup. Not a pretty sight. Go for waxy ones that hold their shape. Peel, wash and chop them. Nice, big uneven chunks will do.
When it comes to your choice of meat, the sky is the limit. Even leftover beef (is there even such a thing?:), chicken, turkey, bacon, anything goes. I always have one of these Chorizo sausages in my fridge and love the flavor they give to goulash. They’re also pretty cheap here. I sliced up one sausage.
Now the next step depends on the kind of meat you’re using. If you’re going for raw meat such as pork chops, bacon or anything else that needs a bit of cooking first, heat 2 tbsp oil and cook the meat until brown. The chorizo only has to cook for a few moments—I’m mainly doing this to put some of the characteristic flavor into the oil. If you’re going to use leftover meat, just start by cooking the veggies and add the meat later on.
Transfer the chorizo to a bowl and set it aside. Now plunge in your onions, cook for 5 minutes before you add the bell pepper, carrots and green beans. Give everything a stir and cook over low heat for another 5 minutes. Looks so cheerful together.
Sprinkle a heaping tbsp paprika powder in (I went for sweet paprika), add the potatoes, thyme, salt, a good pinch of pepper, the diced tomatoes and pour in the beef broth.
Now mix it all up and bring to a boil. I kept the lid off because I wanted to reduce the liquid. Simmer over low to medium heat for about 25 minutes, until the potatoes and vegetables are done.
After 20 minutes simply add the chorizo, or whatever meat you’re going to use, and simmer for another 5 minutes to let the meat heat through.
Check the seasoning, ladle everything in pretty bowls and garnish with sour cream, parsley and a little black pepper cracked on top. Doesn’t look all too shabby for leftover vegetables, does it?