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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Beef and Cabbage with Dumplings

A good portion of the home-style meals I cook have no recipe.  Rather the meal is based on something that caught my attention while in the pantry or freezers.  The number one kitchen utensil I rely on especially for starting soups, stews and chowders is a pressure cooker.  The reason for this is a pressure cooker is the fastest way to make a rich stock while giving tender results for the meat.  All that is needed is to remove the bones and initial stock flavouring vegetables for a lovely base perfect for any soup, stew or chowder.  A couple of days ago it was cold with very light snow flurries so I thought a soup would be a good idea for dinner.  It evolved from a soup to an one pot entrée.  That is another great benefit to using a pressure cooker in that the meal from start to finish can be easily cooked in the same pot.

beef and cabbage with dumplings
I actually started this meal out with the intentions of making a beef based soup.  That is one of the beauties of not following a set recipe.  I put 2 frozen beef soup bones, a carrot, stalk of celery, a small onion and bay leaf into a pressure cooker then opped with water to the ⅔  mark.  It is important that a pressure cooker not be filled above the ⅔ mark to prevent over pressurizing the cooker.  Once the pressure cooker came to pressure, I reduced the heat to maintain pressure and cooked at pressure for 40 minutes.

Once the meat and stock were cooked I removed the bones and vegetables.  I seasoned with Worcestershire sauce, sea salt and fresh ground pepper with just a touch of browning.  Then I stirred in about a quarter wedge of cabbage cut into strips and about 2 cups of a frozen carrot and green/wax bean mixture.  I could have stopped there for a nice hearty soup with adding perhaps rice or pasta but I decided to dumplings add instead.  Dumplings thicken any liquid but they are ever so good!  The end result was a very, very tasty dinner!

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