When I was in middle school, my dad used to make Cowboy Stew. It was a mix of ground beef, canned pinto beans, canned corn, canned green beans, canned stewed tomatoes, and I’m not sure what else. It looked like slop, so I whined whenever he’d make it, but it tasted good anyway. I remember that being my first meal after an episode of the flu when I was in 6th grade, and it never tasted so good.
With the onslaught of vegetables and leftover brisket in my house, I decided to make a stew that was more of a mix of Dad’s cowboy stew, brisket chili, ratatouille, and Texas caviar.
These are purple hull beans. Before today, I’d never ever used the things. Fresh beans that required hulling were entirely foreign to me, so it took some brief internet research to find out how to cook them. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they only required approximately 20 minutes of cooking until finished. Unpleasantly surprised as well, since I would have really liked to just throw everything in my crockpot and let it stew all day. Ah well.
After hulling a billion peas (by the way, purple hull beans are cow peas and are in the same family as black-eyed peas), I came up with about two cups of peas.
In a pot, I tossed the peas, chopped onions, frozen corn, leftover brisket (8 oz, chopped), low sodium beef broth, tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, garlic, and various herbs and spices (chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, paprika, dried cilantro, dried oregano, salt and pepper) altogether into a pot and simmered until the peas and squash were cooked, about 20 minutes.
Mmmm. It was good. It would have been better if I had any tomato paste, and also if I hadn’t mistaken a jar of cayenne pepper for paprika. The heat was tolerable, but it definitely masked all the other flavors. A lesson for the masses. Be careful with your spices, you hear?
I have a huge pot of this leftover. I ended up making more than I expected. I plan on using some of the leftovers in some creative enchiladas here in the next few days. So now I have leftover stew and leftover brisket (STILL!). Going to have to get real creative!