This is another recipe that reminds me of my mother. As all of us know, when you are raising a large family you have to be really creative to feed them. The uncertainty in the economy makes this task sometimes challenging. But my mom always managed to use simple ingredients to prepare savory meals without spending a lot of money. This is an easy way to better manage our money at home. She used to add potatoes, carrots, zucchini or chayotes to the meals to take as much advantage of the flavor of the protein of the day, either chicken or beef. Going out to eat was out of the question, just imagine going out for dinner with 8 children! Yes, those were the good old days of large families! This is a very low cost and popular meal for many families in the region where I grew up, and as I always mention, it changes from household to household. My mother makes this dish using only tomatoes, but maybe her next door neighbor adds a little bit of guajillo or ancho peppers to the mix. We call it Carne con papas, or beef with potatoes. Made with some of the most economic cuts of meat, adding potatoes and tomatoes. A really inexpensive, comforting and delicious meal for your family.
I really don't know how my parents managed to raise a large family like ours, some of us went to private schools and others to public schools. In Mexico, from middle school to college, you need to buy your own books, and everyone wears a school uniform, which you have to pay for, even at the high school level. There is not such a thing as “school lunches”; no, you bring your own lunch from home. Today’s families are smaller, but still, they struggle to make ends meet. I personally believe that we should educate ourselves and our children about money management, not just at school but at home too.
Simple steps can go a long way when it comes to personal financial management. For example, we at home made small changes in our daily life, which, when observed consistently, make a significant positive impact on our finances. I share with you just two of the many changes, we took to improve our bottom line:
- Buy wholesale, instead of retail. We save hundreds of dollars every year just by buying wholesale instead of retail. We actually when to several stores with a list of the most common items a family buys on a monthly basis. Like soap, shampoo, milk, eggs, toilet paper, etc.
- Cook at home, avoid eating out. In average, cooking a nice steak dinner with wine and candle lights at home will cost you about 1/3 of what a similar treat will cost you in a restaurant. I even buy flowers and set the table with a white tablecloth.
There are some more ways to save money at home and to improve your personal finances and bottom line, and we would welcome your ideas and suggestions that we can share with our fans and followers. This is an important issue and we all should contribute raising awareness of it.
- 1 1/2 Pound Beef Chuck roast, trimmed and cut in 1 1/2-inch cubes
- Salt and pepper
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 large tomatoes, chopped (About 4 cups when chopped)
- 1 cup of chicken broth*
- 1/2 cup white onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 large potatoes, cubed
- 2 serrano peppers**
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- Salt and Pepper to season
- If you don't have Chicken broth, substitute with 1 cup of water and 2 teaspoons of chicken bullion.
- The pepper can also be blended into the sauce if you prefer to have the dish a little spicy.
- You can use other herbs like oregano, Bay leaves or thyme instead of cilantro to season this meal.
1. Season beef with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet or casserole over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add meat cubes and cook until browned on all sides. About 10 minutes.
2. While the meat is cooking, place in your blender the tomatoes, onion, garlic and a cup of chicken broth. Puree until you have a smooth sauce.
3. Stir in this sauce into the skillet with the meat using a strainer or sieve. Bring it to simmering and cook covered for about 20 minutes. Add more broth if needed.
4. Stir in potatoes and serrano peppers; cook until meat and potatoes are tender. Stirring halfway through cooking.
5. Just before serving, add the chopped cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm with rice or warm corn tortillas.
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